Vietnamese woman accused in Kim Jong Nam's killing released

04 Mai, 2019, 00:57 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Factfile on the the 2017 murder in Malaysia of Kim Jong Nam half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

Confirming Huong's release on Friday, a Vietnam embassy translator told Reuters that she looked "happy" but couldn't give further details.

Teh said he and two lawyers from his firm, Datuk Naran Singh and Salim Bashir, would accompany Doan to Hanoi, Vietnam on a Vietnam Airlines flight scheduled to depart at 7.15pm.

Huong pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of causing injury after prosecutors dropped the murder charge against her.

More than 2 years after her arrest, Huong was freed from prison outside the Malaysian capital early Friday before her flight back home later in the day.

Her co-accused, Siti Aisyah, was freed in March after prosecutors also dropped a murder charge against her. They allegedly got the two women to smear Kim Jong-nam with VX at a terminal of the Kuala Lumpur airport, leading to his death within minutes.

Kim Jong Nam, the estranged relative of Kim Jong Un who was once seen as heir apparent to the North's leadership, died in agony after having his face smeared with a banned nerve agent as he waited at Kuala Lumpur airport in February 2017.

Huong, 30, sought to be acquitted but prosecutors denied her request. I am very happy and thank you all a lot.

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Huong's release likely closes the case, since four North Koreans named as co-conspirators in the 2017 slaying of Kim Jong Nam using VX nerve agent are not in custody. "All I want to say I love you all".

"What scared me the most when I was in prison was the loneliness and homesickness", she said. "She is looking forward to return home to meet her family and friends", he told the Associated Press after meeting her at a prison Thursday. "They did not treat me badly". Malaysian officials never officially accused North Korea and made it clear they didn't want the trial politicized.

Both of them, along with four others still at large, were initially charged with assassinating Kim Jong-nam, 45, at the klia2 at 9am on Feb 13, 2017. The women smeared the substance on his face in the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on February 13, 2017, and have said they thought they were taking part in a harmless prank for a TV show. Still, there is speculation that Kim Jong Un felt threatened by the older half-sibling, who criticized the regime from afar.

Kim Jong-nam, the eldest son of late dictator Kim Jong-il, had challenged his half-brother's succession to the top post.

"The assassins have not been brought to justice", said Huong's lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, adding the women's legal teams consistently argued that 4 North Koreans who fled Malaysia after the killing, and were charged in absentia, were the real murderers.

Another three were allowed to leave the country after North Korea barred Malaysians from leaving North Korea.


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