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Malaysia not to Release Woman Accused of Kim Hong Nam Murder

KUALA LUMPUR – The Attorney General of Malaysia on Thursday rejected Vietnam’s request to release a woman accused of murdering Kim Jong Nam, the North Korean leader’s half-brother, and a court ruled that the trial would resume on May 1, Reuters said Thursday.
Vietnam’s appeal followed the release on Monday, at the request of Indonesia, of an Indonesian accused with the Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong.
Huong and Siti Aisyah were accused of killing Kim Jong Nam by smearing his face with poisonous VX poisonous chemical at Kuala Lumpur airport in February 2017.
“Our complaint is that the prosecution did not act in a fair and just manner against Doan Thi Huong,” his lawyer, Hisyam Teh, who requested an adjournment on the grounds that his client was ill.
Teh told the court that the rejection of Vietnam’s claim was “perverse” and constituted a case of discrimination, as the Attorney General favored one party over another, since the court ordered both parties to defend themselves.
Vietnam’s Justice and Foreign Ministers are reaching out to their Malaysian counterparts to secure the release of his client, Teh said.
Prosecutors surprised Monday by asking the court to withdraw the charges against Siti Aisyah and release them. The Indonesian embassy took her to Jakarta the same day.
The trial included video footage at the airport of two women allegedly assaulting Kim Jong Nam as he was preparing to check in for a flight.
In one of them, a woman identified as Huong puts her hands on Kim’s face, while a blurred image shows the accused identified by the prosecution as Siti Aisyah.
Teh rejected the assumption that Siti Aisyah’s release was due to a lack of video evidence against him, saying the court had already established a case against both.
“So it makes no difference if Doan’s image was taken on the CCTV camera, not at all,” he said after the hearing.
Defense lawyers maintained that the women were pawns in an assassination orchestrated by North Korean agents. The North Korean Embassy in Kuala Lumpur was stained with graffiti a few hours before the retrial.
Interpol issued a red notice against four North Koreans identified as suspects by the Malaysian police who had left the country a few hours after the killing.
After the decision, Huong was seen sobbing as she spoke with representatives of the Vietnamese Embassy before being taken away by the police.
In Vietnam, Huong’s mother-in-law, Nguyen Thi Vy, said the decision saddened him.
“I do not understand why the other girl was released, but not my daughter,” Vy told Reuters after the decision. “They have been accused of the same thing, it is such an injustice.”
Kim Jong Nam lived in exile in Macao before the murder. He fled his country after his half-brother Kim Jong Un became the leader of North Korea in 2011 following the death of their father.
Some South Korean lawmakers said the North Korean regime had ordered the assassination of Kim Jong Nam, who had criticized his family’s dynastic regime. Pyongyang denied that.
(Sahar News/Monitoring Desk)

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