Saturday, 23 March, 2019

Vietnam asks Malaysia to free Kim assassin suspect

Vietnam Asks Malaysia to Free Woman Accused of Poisoning Kim Jong Nam Malaysia frees Indonesian woman accused of Kim Jong Nam’s poisoning
Jeannette Daniel | 15 March, 2019, 15:39

They have gone through the proceedings and the charge was being withdrawn, so this is being done according to the law.

"I feel very happy. There was clear evidence and she (Aisyah) confessed", James Chin, a Malaysia specialist at the University of Tasmania, told AFP in a message.

The pair always denied murder, insisting they were tricked by North Korean spies into carrying out the Cold War-style hit using a toxic nerve agent and thought it was just a prank. No reason was given.

The Indonesian Embassy had in a statement said that its President Joko Widodo had ordered efforts to secure her release immediately after she was arrested on Feb 15, 2017, two days after Kim was murdered at KLIA 2.

The other suspect in the murder case, Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong (30), remained in prison and she is expected to appear in court on Thursday.

Salim said the AG, who doubled up as public prosecutor, had every right to drop the charge against Siti Aisyah.

Huong's lawyers have now demanded that the Malaysian attorney general should drop the charges against her too and set her free.

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Analysts say Malaysia risks creating a rift with Vietnam if it doesn't do the same for Huong.

Kim Jong Nam was the eldest son of their late father Kim Jong Il, and therefore presented a potential threat to Kim Jong Il's legitimacy as ruler of North Korea.

Some South Korean lawmakers said the North Korean regime had ordered the assassination of Kim Jong Nam, who had been critical of his family's dynastic rule. Pyongyang denies the accusation.

Huong's lawyer, Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, said after Monday's court session that Huong felt Aisyah's discharge was unfair to her because the judge previous year had found sufficient evidence to continue the murder trial against both of them.

"Until today, we do not know what were the exceptional circumstances that were needed for the attorney-general to review the charge against Siti Aisyah".

Siti Aisyah flew back to Jakarta on Monday, accompanied by Indonesian Law Minister Yasonna H. Laoly. The foreign ministry said in a statement that she was "deceived and did not realise at all that she was being manipulated by North Korean intelligence".

Mahathir said that he was "unaware of any negotiations" between Indonesia and Malaysia on the issue, rejecting allegations that the two countries have been bargaining for the Siti's release.

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