Release bid fails for Vietnamese woman in Kim Jong Nam murder

Frederick Owens
March 15, 2019

The ruling leaves Ms Doan, who arrived with armed guards at the Shah Alam court shortly before 9am and wearing a bulletproof vest, as the sole suspect in the case still behind bars.

The lawyers for Doan Thi Huong, the Vietnamese woman accused of murdering the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, have accused the Malaysian government of "discrimination" after an appeal for charges against Doan to be dropped in the same manner as those for Indonesian suspect Siti Aisyah, 27, was rejected.

Both women have consistently denied the murder, claiming that they were tricked by North Korean spies into carrying out the killing and believed it was a prank for a reality TV show.

Responding to news about the AG's rejection of the application from Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong's lawyers for a withdrawal, the DAP national legal bureau chairman said it raised questions about the AG's absolute power to decide prosecutions in the country.

It is thought that diplomatic pressure from Indonesia, in particular President Joko Widodo who is facing an election next month, contributed to the Malaysian government's decision to drop the charges against Siti.

Huong's lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik said he would closely work with the Vietnamese Embassy in Malaysia to get the charges dropped.

Vietnam had increased pressure on Malaysia to release Huong since Aisyah was freed, with the foreign minister this week pressing his Malaysian counterpart on the issue and the justice minister writing to the attorney-general.

Teh rejected speculation that Siti Aisyah's release was due to a lack of video evidence against her, saying the court had already established a case against both.

The judge agreed to postpone the trial until April 1 but warned there should be no more delay. He said Huong only slept one hour each night since Aisyah's release.

More news: Wall Street ekes out gains at open after inflation data

Huong was one of two women charged with the February 2017 murder of Kim Jong Nam, an offense punishable by hanging.

She has been on trial for a year and a half over the 2017 assassination of Kim Jong Nam at Kuala Lumpur airport.

Thanh said he felt painful watching the trial on the internet, seeing his daughter crying and not being able to be there for her. The foreign ministry said in a statement that she was "deceived and did not realize at all that she was being manipulated by North Korean intelligence". Intent to kill is crucial to a murder charge under Malaysian law. The defense phase of the trial was to have begun Monday. Speaking to Vietnam embassy officials she shook violently, and pleaded with them.

Huong's stepmother, Nguyen Thi Vy, was in tears as she slammed the court's decision. "I am not angry that Siti has been freed".

"It's so unfair. They were together, did the same thing", she said.

Huong would face a death sentence if she is convicted of murder.

Who was Kim Jong-nam?

During the trial, some of the evidence against Ms Huong had seemed stronger - airport CCTV footage shown in court captured her approaching Mr Kim, placing her hands on his face and then running away.

South Korea has accused the North of ordering the hit, which Pyongyang denies.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER