Published: Sat, March 16, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Kim Jong-nam murder: Malaysia rejects suspect's release plea

Kim Jong-nam murder: Malaysia rejects suspect's release plea

Hanoi had requested the release of Doan Thi Huong, 30, one of two women who claim they were duped into smearing VX poison on to Kim Jong-nam's face at Kuala Lumpur global airport in February 2017, believing they were taking part in a prank for a television show.

She'll have her day in court. He said Vietnam's justice minister had written to the Malaysian attorney-general seeking Huong's release and that Vietnam would keep lobbying Malaysia to free her.

On Monday a murder charge was unexpectedly withdrawn against the Indonesian woman accused alongside her, Siti Aisyah, raising hopes that Ms Huong might also be freed imminently. Malaysia now has a moratorium on executions but has backtracked on its announcement past year that it would abolish the death penalty.

Minh said in the phone conversation that senior leaders and the people of Vietnam had paid close attention to the trial, the government statement said.

"God knows me and Siti Aisyah didn't do anything", Huong said, according to her interpreter.

"I still believe Huong is innocent", the parking lot attendant said at his home surrounded by rice paddies in Nam Dinh province.

Defense lawyers have maintained that the women were pawns in an assassination orchestrated by North Korean agents.

Doan Thi Huong's family say she is a good girl who fell into the murder plot unwittingly

She has been on trial for a year and a half over the 2017 assassination of Kim Jong Nam at Kuala Lumpur airport that shocked the world.

Lawyers for the two women argued they were duped by the North Korean agents, who tricked them into thinking they were taking part in a reality TV show.

North Korea has consistently denied involvement in the killing, though US, South Korean and Malaysian authorities have said Pyongyang was responsible.

As Huong broke down in the dock, the judge said she was in not fit state to testify and ordered that the trial be adjourned until April 1.

Malaysian prosecutors withdrew murder charge against Aisyah over the death of the victim. They did not disclose whether Huong's detention was discussed during Kim Jong Un's visit last month to Hanoi, where he met US President Donald Trump and Vietnamese leaders. He added that Vietnam would continue to ask for her release.

"I had hoped for good news today, but unfortunately there is none". There was security camera video of Huong with Kim. The Interpol has issued red notices asking governments to send them back to face trial. The North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur was defaced with graffiti just hours before the trial was to resume. The North Koreans then promptly left the country.

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