Vietnam woman in North Korea murder case has release bid rejected

Doan Thi Huong has been on trial for a year and a half over the 2017 assassination of Kim Jong Nam at Kuala Lumpur airport that shocked the worldMore

Doan Thi Huong has been on trial for a year and a half over the 2017 assassination of Kim Jong Nam at Kuala Lumpur airport that shocked the worldMore

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.

A Vietnamese woman charged with assassinating the North Korean leader's half-brother lost her bid for immediate release on Thursday as Malaysian authorities refused to drop a murder charge, days after her Indonesian co-accused was freed.

Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh criticised as "mind-boggling" the attorney general's decision to maintain charges against one suspect after freeing another in the case of Kim Jong-nam's murder.

It said Minh asked for the Malaysian court to conduct a fair trial and free Huong.

Vietnam's ministers of justice and foreign affairs are communicating with their Malaysian counterparts to secure his client's release, Teh added. "Only God knows that we did not commit the murder", she said.

Indonesia mounted a diplomatic campaign to free Aisyah, with the country's justice minister writing to Malaysia's attorney-general asking for her release. "More so in this case because two people were charged, but it was withdrawn against one but not against the other".

Two women were accused of smearing a toxic nerve agent on the face of Kim Jong Nam as he walked through a Kuala Lumpur airport terminal in 2017. They have said they thought they were taking part in a harmless prank for a TV show.

Malaysia's attorney general ordered the murder case to proceed against the Vietnamese woman accused in the killing of the North Korean leader's estranged half brother.

Huong's lawyer sought a deferment of the trial Thursday, saying she was unwell and needed medical treatment. The Guardian reported that Huong looked pale and drawn.

The judge agreed to postpone the trial until April 1 but warned there should be no more delay. The defence phase of the trial was to have begun Monday. Speaking to Vietnam embassy officials she shook violently, and pleaded with them.

Huong bowed her head as she was escorted back to prison by armed police.

"So it makes no difference whatsoever if Doan's image was caught on the CCTV camera, none at all", he said after the hearing.

He said he believes his daughter is innocent and told her to "stay calm and hope for the best outcome". "It's so unfair. The two of them were in this and now one got out, one can not".

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

"Furthermore, the trial judge made a finding that the prosecution had succeeded in establishing a prima facie case against both of them and called upon them to enter their defence against the said charge".

Analysts have said the case against Aisyah appeared weaker since there was no video evidence of her accosting Kim at the airport. Prosecutors have also said the VX was supplied by the North Korean suspects. They were then seen meeting a North Korean Embassy official and an Air Koryo official before flying out of the country.

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