Vietnam asks Malaysia to free woman accused of Kim Jong Nam's poisoning

Vietnam asks Malaysia to free woman accused of Kim Jong Nam's poisoning

Huong was accused alongside Indonesian Siti Aisyah, who was suddenly freed yesterday by a Malaysian court where the women were being tried. It said Minh requested the Malaysian court conduct a fair trial and free Doan Thi Huong.

Prosecutors are expected on Thursday to reply to a request by Huong's lawyers for the government to withdraw the murder charge against her as well. Analysts say Malaysia risks creating a rift with Vietnam if it doesn't do the same for Huong.

They stood accused of poisoning Mr Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un - with liquid VX, a banned chemical weapon - in February 2017, Reuters reported.

They had claimed that they thought they were taking part in a prank for a television show.

Interpol had issued a red notice for four North Koreans who were identified as suspects by Malaysian police and had left the country hours after the murder.

The Straits Times reported that Malaysia made a decision to drop the murder charge against Ms Siti after taking into account the good relations between Malaysia and Indonesia, it was revealed yesterday.

"Until today, we do not know what were the exceptional circumstances that were needed for the attorney-general to review the charge against Siti Aisyah".

Malaysia's prime minister said Tuesday the surprise release of an Indonesian woman who was on trial for assassinating the North Korean leader's half-brother followed the "rule of law", after suspicions of meddling amid an intense lobbying effort by Jakarta.

"The AG can exercise this power even during trial".

"Why is the AG succumbing to foreign interference into our prosecution?"

"I believe that my daughter will be released too because she is innocent".

The women's lawyers have presented them as scapegoats. Intent to kill is crucial to a murder charge under Malaysian law.

The Indonesian government also said its continual high-level lobbying resulted in the release of the Indonesian woman.

"I still believe that North Korea had something to do with it", Gooi said.

It said that over the past two years, Aisyah's plight was raised in "every bilateral Indonesia-Malaysia meeting", including at the president's level, the vice president's level and in regular meetings of the foreign minister and other ministers with their Malaysian counterparts.

Vietnam yesterday asked Malaysia to free the Vietnamese woman charged with murdering the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's half-brother in Kuala Lumpur, a day after her Indonesian co-accused was suddenly released.

On Monday, prosecutors in Malaysia unexpectedly dropped the murder charge against Aisyah, who has since returned to her home village.

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