Malaysia: Vietnamese Woman to Stand Trial in Kim Jong-nam Killing

16 Mars, 2019, 06:30 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong center is escorted by police as she arrives at Shah Alam High Court in Shah Alam Malaysia on March 14

According to BBC news reports, Vietnam has been pushing for Huong's release, and the Vietnamese decision has come days after Siti Aisyah, Indonesian co-defendant was unexpectedly freed. "Her case is the same as Siti Aisyah's".

Vietnamese ambassador to Malaysia, Le Quy Quynh, told AFP at the court: "I'm very disappointed that the court did not free Doan".

"We will request Malaysia to be fair and to release her as soon as possible".

However, the court in Shah Alam, near Kuala Lumpur, ruled the trial against Ms Huong would resume on April 1.

Huong's lawyer, Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, called the decision not to drop the case "disappointing" in court Thursday. He said prosecutors were being unfair to Huong as her case was similar to Aisyah. "There is discrimination as the prosecution favors one party to the other", he said.

Both women have said they thought they were taking part in a prank for a television show.

Two other North Korean nationals, whom Malaysian police had identified as persons of interest in the investigation, were on the same commercial flight that carried Kim's body out of Malaysia.

Huong's lawyers said they were deeply disappointed with the decision and the attorney general had a "moral obligation" to explain the reasoning given the global nature of the case.

Huong has been on trial since last one and a half year.

No reason was given for the decision by Attorney-General Tommy Thomas to reject Doan's application for immediate acquittal and release as a suspect in the February 2017 assassination by poisoning of Kim, the estranged half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, at a Kuala Lumpur airport.

Malaysian prosecutors withdrew murder charge against Aisyah over the death of the victim.

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Huong's lawyer had sought a delay for the trial Thursday.

"God knows me and Siti Aisyah didn't do anything", she said. Teh said Huong was unwell and needed medical treatment.

North Korea has consistently denied involvement in the killing, though US, South Korean and Malaysian authorities have said Pyongyang was responsible. The Guardian reported that Huong looked pale and drawn. The defense phase of the trial was to have begun Monday. She could be seen shaking as she pleaded with Vietnam embassy officials.

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

She was crushed when she did not get the good news she was hoping for.

"Like I said, it's his prerogative", George told Malay Mail in a joint interview with Sin Chew Daily here yesterday at the end of his two-year term as Malaysian Bar president.

In Vietnam, her stepmother Nguyen Thi Vy said the decision saddened her.

They were charged under Section 302 of the Penal Code, which provides for the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.

Both women insist they are innocent.

Experts have said the case against Aisyah appeared weaker since there was no video evidence of her with Kim at the airport. There was security camera footage of Huong.

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