Wednesday, 21 August 2019
Latest news
Main » Malaysian court postpones trial of Vietnamese citizen | # AsiaNewsNetwork

Malaysian court postpones trial of Vietnamese citizen | # AsiaNewsNetwork

16 March 2019

A Vietnamese woman accused of murdering Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of North Korea's leader, saw her bid for freedom dashed Thursday when Malaysia's attorney-general rejected her application for an immediate acquittal, her lawyers said.

Indonesia had mounted a sustained diplomatic offensive to free 27-year-old Aisyah, while Vietnam had only stepped up pressure since the Indonesian woman's release this week.

Prosecutors did not reveal why they rejected Huong's appeal but let Aisyah go free.

Indonesian Siti Aisyah, who accompanied Huong and says she was fooled in the same way, was freed after charges against her were dropped on Monday. "Only God knows that we did not commit the murder", she said.

In one, a woman identified as Huong puts her hands on Kim's face, while a blurry image shows someone the prosecution identified as Siti Aisyah hurrying away.

Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong leaves the Shah Alam High Court on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, March 14, 2019.

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".

The next hearing will take place on April 1. Both women were charged separately but the charge against them is the same: That they had colluded with the four North Korean suspects to murder Kim. "I think she must given the opportunity to be treated by a doctor". The women claimed they had no idea they had been groomed by North Korean agents to carry out the murder and thought they were taking part in a prank TV show.

The prosecutor did not give reason why charges were not being dropped for Ms Huong, 30, who is now the sole defendant on trial for Mr Kim's murder and could face death by hanging if convicted. There was security camera footage of Huong. She said she was offered the job by a Malaysian man and ended up earning about $120, but declined to speak at length about the case. "If you want to do something, you have to understand what is that exactly", she said.

After Aisyah's release on Monday, Vietnamese authorities appeared to step up their own efforts to free Huong.

On Tuesday, Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh called his Malaysian counterpart on Tuesday, asking for Huong's release as well, according to Vietnamese media.

In Huong's village in Vietnam, her family was crestfallen.

He was once seen as a future leader of the isolated country, but when his father Kim Jong-il died, he was bypassed in favour of the younger Kim.

Malaysian court postpones trial of Vietnamese citizen | # AsiaNewsNetwork