Suspect in Kim Jong Nam assassination freed after charges dropped

12 March, 2019, 06:43 | Author: Sue Mclaughlin
  • Indonesia Woman Accused Of Kim Jong Nam Murder Freed

Siti Aisyah cried and hugged her Vietnamese co-defendant, Doan Thi Huong, before leaving the courtroom and being ushered away in an Indonesian Embassy vehicle.

Kim Jong Nam was murdered two years ago at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia with VX nerve agent, a chemical weapon.

The High Court judge discharged Aisyah without an acquittal after prosecutors applied to drop the murder charge against her. The reason for the withdrawal of the murder charge was not given.

Indonesian officials mounted a major diplomatic effort to free Aisyah, which included pressure from the president.

Indonesian Ambassador to Malaysia Rusdi Kirana, who attended the proceedings on Monday, expressed his satisfaction with the turn of events.

Both women deny murder, saying they were tricked into smearing nerve agent across Kim's face by North Korean spies who posed as hosts of a prank-based television show.

Reeling from the news, Siti Aisyah's aunt geared up for a party to welcome back her 27-year-old niece, a year and a half after she went on trial in Malaysia with the death penalty hanging over her head.

"I am very happy, I never expected that today I will be freed", she said at a press conference with representatives of the Indonesian government in Kuala Lumpur on Monday, which was aired live by Kompas TV.

Thomas wrote in a letter to Indonesia's minister of law and human rights that prosecutors made a decision to drop Aisyah's charges and release her "taking into account the good relations" between Malaysia and Indonesia.

He was the eldest son of North Korea's late leader, Kim Jong Il.

Aisyah had spent some two years in Malaysian custody.

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They were the only suspects in custody after four North Korean suspects fled the country the same morning Mr Kim was killed.

Originally, Huong was expected to read a statement to the court on Monday, which would have been the first time either of the pair gave testimony.

Speaking later at the Indonesian embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Aisyah thanked her lawyers, Indonesian authorities and the Malaysian government for securing her release.

The case against Siti Aisyah, the Indonesian woman who was charged with the murder of the estranged brother of Kim Jong-un, has been dropped by a court in Malaysia. "We believe she is not guilty", he said.

"The Malaysian government treated me well, there was no bad treatment at all", she said.

Doan's lawyer, Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, added that he is applying for full acquittal and that his client was traumatised by the court's decision to only free Siti.

During the trial, the court was shown CCTV footage of two women allegedly assaulting Kim Jong Nam while he prepared to check in for a flight.

Huong's lawyer, Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, said Huong felt Aisyah's discharge was unfair to her because the judge past year had found sufficient evidence to continue the murder trial against them.

Huong's case did not appear to be publicly discussed during Kim Jong Un's recent visit to Hanoi, when he met US President Donald Trump and Vietnam's leaders.

Doan's murder trial was suspended following Monday's surprise turn of events. In her hometown of Sindangsari on Java island, there was shock and delight as word spread of her release.

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