Second Kim slay suspect not released

Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong broke down in tears as a prosecutor told a court the attorney-general had rejected a request to free her

Counsel for Doan Thi-Huong, Hisham Teh Poh Teik, told the court that she had not slept for the past three nights following the decision by the Malaysian attorney general to drop the charges against Siti.

Huong and an Indonesian woman Siti Aisyah were accused of poisoning the DPRK citizen travelling under passport name of Kim Chol with liquid VX, a banned chemical weapon, at Kuala Lumpur airport in February 2017.

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.

The request to drop the murder charge against Huong came after Malaysia on Monday released Siti Aisyah, an Indonesia woman who was charged together with Huong in the case. Only God knows that we did not commit the murder.

Doan Thi Huong, 30, in bullet-proof attire, was brought to the hospital under heavy guard in a van of the Prisons Department at 9.20 am and left at 10.40 am, said her lawyer, Salim Bashir.

After the court hearing, Teh told reporters that the adjournment was also meant to allow time for the Vietnamese government to speak to the Malaysian government.

Abdul Rashid Ismail, a leading Malaysian criminal lawyer who was not involved in the case, said the decision to prosecute Huong but not Aisyah was "clearly unfair".

Judge Azmi Ariffin adjourned court on "humanitarian grounds", saying Huong appeared "not well".

Siti Aisyah smiles as she arrives from Malaysia at Halim Perdana Kusuma airport in Jakarta Indonesia
Siti Aisyah smiles as she arrives from Malaysia at Halim Perdana Kusuma airport in Jakarta Indonesia

"She is not fit, physically and mentally, and I request for today's hearing to be postponed". The worldwide police organization Interpol has issued red notices asking governments around the world to send them back to face trial.

South Korea has accused the North of ordering the hit, which Pyongyang denies. He then ordered a doctor evaluate her.

George however also said that to avoid speculation, "it would be good if the Attorney General could give his reasons for dropping the charges". There was security camera footage of Huong.

But Huong says she was duped by North Korean spies into approaching him, believing it was a harmless prank for a TV show. He added that Vietnam would continue to ask for her release. Under Malaysian law, intent to kill is critical to a murder charge. "If you want to do something, you have to understand what is that exactly", she said.

Vietnam's foreign minister Pham Binh Minh had discussed the case with his Malaysian counterpart Saifuddin Abdullah on Tuesday, according to Hanoi's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), asking "the Malaysian side to ensure fair judgement for Huong & to set her free".

Vietnamese authorities had been tight-lipped about the case.

Those meetings would have been unthinkable back in 2017, when Kim Jong Nam's assassination was widely seen as evidence of his half-brother's brutal but calculating leadership style. 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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