Published: Sat, March 16, 2019

Vietnamese woman in N. Korea murder case loses bid for release

Vietnamese woman in N. Korea murder case loses bid for release

SHAH ALAM, Malaysia-Malaysia's attorney-general ordered the murder case to proceed against a Vietnamese woman accused in the killing of the estranged half brother of North Korea's leader, prosecutors said in court Thursday, March 14.

The two women were accused of poisoning Kim Jong-nam by rubbing the deadly VX agent on his face at an airport in Kuala Lumpur.

The Malaysian court had dropped the charge against Siti Aisyah and freed her on Monday. "Please call my father, call my family, and ask for them to pray for me".

A similar white top was worn by a woman shown in CCTV footage from the terminal minutes after Jong-nam was poisoned to death.

'Both the accused have said they were made scapegoats by North Korea, both of them said they were doing video pranks - very obviously there is discrimination, ' said Hisyam Teh Poh Teik.

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.

Just as the defense phase of the trial was about to begin Monday, one of the women - an Indonesian named Siti Aisyah, 27 - was unexpectedly freed.

A Malaysian court on Thursday announced it would temporarily postpone the trial of Vietnamese citizen Đoàn Thị Hương, a suspect in the murder of a North Korean national in 2017, due to her health condition, Vietnam News Agency reports.

Ms Aisyah was only seen as a blurred figure fleeing the scene of the crime.

No reason, however, was given by the prosecutors in the court for rejecting Huong's appeal but letting Aisyah go free. In one, a woman identified as Huong puts her hands on Mr Kim's face, while a blurry image shows someone identified as Ms Siti hurrying away.

Huong's stepmother, Nguyen Thi Vy, was in tears as she slammed the court's decision. Malaysia now has a moratorium on executions but has backtracked on its announcement a year ago that it would abolish the death penalty. The government vowed past year to scrap capital punishment but has indicated recently it may backtrack on the plan. He said Vietnam's justice minister had written to the Malaysian attorney-general seeking Huong's release and that Vietnam would keep lobbying Malaysia to free her. The government gave us the best support but the other side could not solve it, what can we do'.

"Vietnam has mentioned this case in all its exchanges with Malaysia and we have also requested that Malaysia conduct a fair trial", foreign ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang told a news conference in Hanoi, the capital.

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