March 19, 2019

Case to continue against second woman charged in Kim Jong Nam killing

16 March 2019, 06:30 | Devin Moran

Kim Jong-Nam murder suspect loses bid for release

Kim Jong-nam murder trial: prosecutors reject request to free Doan Thi Huong

Huong's counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik told the court that he was disappointed by the decision of the attorney-general. He said prosecutors were being unfair to Huong as her case was similar to Aisyah.

Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh had questioned why the AG dropped the prosecution of Siti Aisyah but maintained charges against her Vietnamese co-defendant, pointing out that both women were jointly accused of Jong-nam's murder.

"I am not angry at Siti", Doan told reporters in court through tears, adding that she was "traumatised". He said Huong only slept an hour a night since Aisyah's release and was not in a position to testify.

Hanoi's Ambassador to Malaysia Le Quy Quynh told CNN that the Vietnamese Justice Minister had sent a letter to Malaysia's attorney general requesting Huong's release.

The trial is now expected to begin on April 1.

Both women were charged separately, but the charge against them is the same - that they worked with the four North Korean suspects to murder Kim. The worldwide police organization Interpol has issued red notices asking governments around the world to send them back to face trial.

Four men from North Korea who were suspected of being behind the attack fled Malaysia the day Kim was killed, leaving Huong and Siti Aisyah the only two people in custody in relation to the crime. "I think she must given the opportunity to be treated by a doctor".

The pair had always denied murder, saying they were tricked by North Korean spies into carrying out the Cold War-style killing using a highly toxic nerve agent, and believed it was a prank for a reality TV show.

The lawyer said he would also be submitting a representation to the Attorney-General's Chambers for the murder charge against Doan to be dropped.

"We hope the attorney general review the evidence and review the decision", said defence lawyer Naran Singh. Prosecutors alleged that Huong and Aisyah wiped Kim's face with the chemical before washing themselves.

"In the case of Doan, she is completely innocent and she is a scapegoat, same as Siti Aisyah".

"My message to the other woman workers, please don't easily trust the others".

After Aisyah's release on Monday, Vietnamese authorities appeared to step up their own efforts to free Huong.

Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh urged his Malaysian counterpart Tuesday to "ensure fair judgement for Huong & to set her free", according to an image tweeted by his ministry. He had been living overseas for years but could have been seen as a threat to Kim Jong Un's rule.

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