Published: Thu, March 14, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Kim Jong-nam's murder: AGC rejects Doan's representation to drop charge

Kim Jong-nam's murder: AGC rejects Doan's representation to drop charge

Counsel for Doan Thi-Huong, Hisham Teh Poh Teik, told the court that she had not slept for the past three nights following the decision by the Malaysian attorney general to drop the charges against Siti.

Huong, 30, and her co-accused Indonesian woman Siti Aisyah, 26, had been on trial for a year and a half on charges of killing Kim Jong-nam, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's half-brother, by smearing his face with VX poison, a banned chemical weapon, at Kuala Lumpur airport in February 2017.

Prosecutors in court Thursday gave no explanation why they refused to drop the murder charge against Doan Thi Huong.

Huong's lawyer said he would make a second bid to get the charge against her dropped, and criticised the failure to free her following the release of the Indonesian, Siti Aisyah.

Vietnamese Ambassaador Le Quy Quynh said he was "very disappointed" with the attorney general's decision.

Vietnam's ministers of justice and foreign affairs are communicating with their Malaysian counterparts to secure his client's release, Teh added.

She told reporters: "Only God knows that we did not commit the murder".

In one, a woman identified as Huong puts her hands on Kim's face, while a blurry image shows someone the prosecution identified as Siti Aisyah hurrying away. "Very obviously, there is discrimination", he said, according to the Associated Press.

"No doubt, the AG has the power to discontinue proceedings against Siti Aisyah the way he did but why did he not do the same in the case of Doan?" he said in a statement. They have said they thought they were taking part in a harmless prank for a TV show.

Four men from North Korea who were suspected of being behind the attack fled Malaysia the day Kim was killed, leaving Huong and Siti Aisyah the only two people in custody in relation to the crime.

The women have always denied murder.

Huong, who was expected to testify in her own defence this week, barely reacted to Siti's release.

Huong stood in the dock and responded to the judge's questions on the deferment request, saying she suffered from tension and stress.

"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.

On Thursday, the same court ruled that Doan's trial could proceed, but would be postponed until 1 April after she was declared "mentally and physically" unfit to testify. The defense phase of the trial was to have begun Monday.

Huong bowed her head as she was escorted back to prison by armed police.

He said he believes his daughter is innocent and told her to "stay calm and hope for the best outcome".

The ruling leaves Ms Doan, who arrived with armed guards at the Shah Alam court shortly before 9am and wearing a bulletproof vest, as the sole suspect in the case still behind bars.

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

A murder conviction carries a mandatory penalty of death by hanging in Malaysia.

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