Vietnamese woman in N. Korea murder case loses bid for release

Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong is escorted by Malaysian police at the Shah Alam High Court outside Kuala Lumpur

Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong is escorted by Malaysian police at the Shah Alam High Court outside Kuala Lumpur

After the trial was postponed, Hương met with Vietnamese Ambassador to Malaysia Lê Quý Quỳnh.

Vietnam had increased pressure on Malaysia to release Huong since Aisyah was freed, with the foreign minister this week pressing his Malaysian counterpart on the issue and the justice minister writing to the attorney-general. "Her case is the same as Siti Aisyah's".

Huong's counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik told the court that he was disappointed by the decision of the attorney-general.

He said Hanoi would again request that Malaysian authorities treat Huong fairly and release her "as soon as possible". Very obviously, there is discrimination.

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 worldwide airport in February 2017, believing they were taking part in a prank for a television show. The women claimed they had no idea they had been groomed by North Korean agents to carry out the murder and thought they were taking part in a prank TV show. They were the only people arrested for the crime, after four North Korean suspects fled the country the same morning Kim was killed. Both women were charged separately but the charge against them is the same: That they had colluded with the four North Korean suspects to murder Kim.

The prosecution told the Shah Alam court on Thursday the attorney general had considered "all reasons" but 30-year-old Huong's trial for killing the half-brother of North Korea's leader would proceed.

Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, who was a suspect in the murder case of North Korean leader's half brother Kim Jong Nam, leaves the Shah Alam High Court on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia March 14, 2019.

Both the women had pleaded not guilty to the murder.

The lawyer said he would also be submitting a representation to the Attorney-General's Chambers for the murder charge against Doan to be dropped. Teh said Huong was unwell and needed medical treatment.

In Vietnam, Doan's father, Doan Van Thanh, said the ruling had saddened the entire family, after the release of Siti Aisyah had raised their hopes.

The next hearing will take place on April 1. The defense phase of the trial was to have begun Monday.

"I had hoped for good news today, but...there is none..." It was also found on the women's clothes.

During the trial, some of the evidence against Ms Huong had seemed stronger - airport CCTV footage shown in court captured her approaching Mr Kim, placing her hands on his face and then running away. Prosecutors alleged that Huong and Aisyah wiped Kim's face with the chemical before washing themselves.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.