Published: Sun, May 05, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Vietnamese woman accused in Kim Jong Nam's killing released

Vietnamese woman accused in Kim Jong Nam's killing released

Doan Thi Huong, a Vietnamese national who will turn 30 at the end of May, was released from Kajang prison near Kuala Lumpur on Friday morning, where she had been held since her arrest shortly after the assassination of Kim Jong Nam on February 13, 2017.

On Feb. 13, 2017, Kim Jong Nam was waiting for a flight at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia when two women approached him.

The charge of murder was dropped against Huong after police released Aisyah and she accepted a plea deal for lesser charges, so she was serving a 40-month sentence for "causing injury" and was set free on Friday with credit for time served and good behavior.

Huong, a keen singer who once appeared on the Vietnam Idol talent show, told reporters she had no plans to return to Malaysia soon, but was considering her future plans.

Huong and Aisyah, both apprehended in the days after being captured on security cameras, pleaded not guilty and said that they thought they were executing a prank for a TV show and did not know who the man was or that they were carrying out a hit.

Huong's father, Doan Van Thanh, said he and her brother would be in Hanoi to welcome her home.

She went to an immigration office in the afternoon and was due to fly to Vietnam, where she is to be reunited with her family.

"We have been going back and forth to Hanoi ever since the start of the trial to discuss and report to the Vietnam Bar Federation, so this should be the last trip, closing the book", he said.

Hisyam said Huong was very joyful when he met her at the prison on Thursday.

"Thank you Lord Jesus for the love (showered) on me", the message said.

Huong's lawyer, Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, told reporters at the airport that "the case has come to a complete end" because prosecutors didn't file any appeal of the sentence given Huong.

In a stunning move, prosecutors dropped murder charges against Huong and her co-defendant, Indonesian Siti Aisyah, who was released from custody in March. "Thank you so much", she said in the video.

The four enigmatic North Korean agents thought to have staged the murder fled Malaysia immediately afterward and have never been found, despite a "red notice" worldwide warrant from Interpol.

The four North Koreans fled Malaysia the day Kim was killed. He had been living overseas for years but could have been seen as a threat to Kim Jong Un's rule.

Malaysia was criticized for charging the two women with murder - which carries a mandatory death penalty in the Southeast Asian nation - when the key perpetrators were still being sought.

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