Malaysia releases Indonesian suspected of killing Kim Jong Nam

Malaysia releases Indonesian suspected of killing Kim Jong Nam

An Indonesian woman accused in the 2017 chemical poison murder of the North Korean leader's half-brother was freed on Monday after a Malaysian court dropped the charge in a case that drew suspicions of being a political assassination.

Indonesian citizen Siti Aisyah was freed on March 11, 2019, after Malaysian dropped the charges against her.

The prosecutors did not give a reason for her release.

The news comes two years after Ms Aisyah was arrested alongside Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, 30, for the murder of Mr Kim at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

"Since the murder charge against Siti Aisyah has been dropped, why is there unequal treatment slapped on Viet accused Doan Thi Huong?"

The two women had always denied the murder, saying they believed they were taking part in a prank for a reality show and were tricked by North Korean agents into killing Mr Kim Jong Nam by smearing VX nerve agent on his face at the Kuala Lumpur airport in February 2017.

"I feel so happy".

Gooi Soon Seng, Siti Aisyah's lawyer, said his client was "a scapegoat".

Vietnam provided legal counsel to Huong, but has refrained from publicly lobbying for her release until today.

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Meanwhile, lawyers for Huong have confirmed writing to the attorney-general (AG) to drop the charge against her. He had been living overseas for years but could have been seen as a threat to Kim Jong Un's rule. Pyongyang has denied the accusation.

Upon considering the request, Mr Thomas wrote that the "prosecution will request the court to order a discharge not amounting to an acquittal".

"Where is the principle of equality?" Although the two women were being tried together, the cases against them were separate, and the court had asked the Indonesian woman to present her defence first.

"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".

Prosecutor Muhammad Iskandar Ahmad said the decision to withdraw the charge against her was made based on "several representations", without elaborating.

The Malaysian Attorney-General's Chambers issued the order last Friday not to prosecute Ms Aisyah, 26, according to the letter revealed by the Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Siti Aisyah flew back to Jakarta on Monday, accompanied by Indonesian Law Minister Yasonna H. Laoly.

The Indonesian ministry said that during the past two years, Aisyah's plight was raised in "every bilateral Indonesia-Malaysia meeting", including at the presidential level, the vice presidential level and in regular meetings of the foreign minister and other ministers with their Malaysian counterparts.

The call from Vietnam's foreign minister was an unprecedented public request from Hanoi, which generally does not get involved in criminal cases involving its citizens overseas. The country's foreign ministry said in a statement that Aisyah was "deceived and did not realize at all that she was being manipulated by North Korean intelligence".

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