No release for other Kim Jong-nam accused

No release for other Kim Jong-nam accused

Malaysia has refused to drop charges against a lone suspect in the murder of Kim Jong-Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korea's leader, media reports said Thursday.

Prosecutor Iskandar Ahmad gave no explanation for the refusal to drop the murder charge against Doan Thi Huong, who is the only suspect in custody after the stunning decision to drop the case Monday against Indonesian Siti Aisyah.

"In the case of Doan, she is completely innocent and she is a scapegoat, same as Siti Aisyah".

Vietnam's Ambassador Le Quy Quynh attended the hearing and said the government was doing all it could to secure Huong's release.

"Let us all pray for her health and immediate freedom".

Doan Thi Huong of Vietnam returned to the courthouse in Kuala Lumpur Thursday hoping to hear similar news of her own release, but was instead met with normal proceedings.

Huong's lawyer, Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, told the court that the decision was "perverse". "More so in this case because two people were charged, but it was withdrawn against one but not against the other". He insists his daughter was tricked into Kim's murder and believes she thought she was part of a prank for TV, as she has said in court.

Last August, a High Court judge found there was enough evidence to show that Aisyah, Huong and the four North Koreans had worked together on a plan to kill Kim.

Kim Jong-nam was assassinated with liquid VX nerve agent at Kuala Lumpur airport in February 2017.

Malaysian prosecutors withdrew murder charges against her over the death of the victim. "We will arrange a letter for her treatment".

Indonesian defendant Siti Aisyah was released as a result of a political decision by the Malaysian Attorney General, in consideration of a request from Jakarta to take "into account the good relations between our respective countries".

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It was only natural for the Vietnamese government to come out to ask for Huong's release.

South Korea has accused the North of ordering the hit, which Pyongyang denies.

"I have no idea what is going on", a exhausted and pale-looking Huong, who was wrapped in a red headscarf and a coat, said through an interpreter.

The trial is now expected to begin on April 1. She thanked the Party, State and the Vietnamese Embassy in Malaysia for their help and support.

The 30-year-old was brought from prison to hospital in a van accompanied by several police cars and heavily armed officers wearing balaclavas, according to one of the officers escorting her.

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 worldwide nature of the case.

"It's so unfair. They were together, did the same thing", she said.

Doan would face the death penalty if convicted of murdering Kim Jong Nam.

Indonesian Siti Aisyah, left, and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, right, are escorted by police as they leave their court hearing at Shah Alam court house in Shah Alam, outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on October 2, 2017. "It's very obvious, my lord, that there is discrimination", he said.

The trial featured airport video recordings of two women allegedly assaulting Kim Jong Nam while he prepared to check in for a flight.

Prosecutors said Aisyah and Huong were well-trained assassins but their lawyers argued the four North Koreans were the masterminds. His body was repatriated in exchange for nine Malaysian embassy officials and their families who were stuck in the North Korean capital for six weeks amid the wrangling.

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