Vietnamese suspect in Kim Jong Nam’s killing seeking release

Vietnamese suspect in Kim Jong Nam’s killing seeking release

Minh said Vietnam's leaders and the public are closely following the case and asked Malaysia to "ensure a fair trial for Huong and set her free".

According to the Malaysian investigation, the assassination was organized by four North Koreans: Ri Ji-Hyon, Hong Song-Hac, O Jong-Gil and Ri Jae-Nam, who hired the two women using different names and nationalities.

Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh made the plea in a phone call Tuesday with his counterpart, Saifuddin Abdullah.

Vietnamese citizen Doan Thi Huong is on trial for murder in Malaysia for the brazen Cold War-style killing of Kim Jong-nam, the half brother of Kim Jong-un, in a busy Kuala Lumpur airport in 2017.

Huong's lawyers have also asked the attorney-general to withdraw her murder charge, and prosecutors may on Thursday inform the Shah Alam High Court, outside Kuala Lumpur, whether the application has been successful.

The two women were accused of smearing the toxic VX nerve agent on Kim's face in an airport terminal in Kuala Lumpur on Feb 13, 2017.

In her defense, Siti said that some people - who she thinks were Korean or Japanese - paid $90 for a "prank" to be aired in a TV show.

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Prosecutors told the court that they had been instructed to withdraw the charge against Siti Aisyah. Siti said she was happy to meet Jokowi.

Analysts say Malaysia risks creating a rift with Vietnam if it doesn't do the same for Huong. Authorities believe that Kim Jong Un had his half-brother assassinated as part of an effort to consolidate his power after he became the ruler of North Korea.

Kim Jong Nam had fled North Korea shortly after his brother, Kim Jong Un, took over after their father's death. Pyongyang denies the accusation.

"I have no information (regarding that)", he said, when quizzed by the media during a press conference in Parliament Tuesday (March 12).

In a separate statement on Wednesday, the government said Justice Minister Le Thanh Long had sent a letter to Malaysia's attorney-general, Tommy Thomas, asking Malaysia to free Huong.

Huong's lawyer, Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, said Huong felt Aisyah's discharge was unfair to her because the judge previous year had found sufficient evidence to continue the murder trial against them.

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