March 2019 - Vietnam urges Malaysia to release murder suspect - News - SHOWCASE - KimJongNam

Clay Curtis
March 15, 2019

VIETNAM today asked Malaysia to free its national who was charged with assassinating the North Korean leader's half-brother in Kuala Lumpur, a day after her Indonesian co-accused was suddenly released.

Vietnam's Foreign Minister Pham Binh Binh, in a telephone call to his Malaysian counterpart Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, asked Malaysia to "ensure a fair trial and free Vietnamese citizen Doan Thi Huong", the government said in a statement.

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

Meanwhile, lawyers for Huong have confirmed writing to the attorney-general (AG) to drop the charge against her. The two women were accused along with four missing North Koreans of killing Kim Jong Nam by VX nerve agent at a Malaysian airport in 2017.

Both women claimed they did not know what was happening and thought they were taking part in a prank for a Japanese comedy show.

Indonesia's government said its continued high-level lobbying had resulted in Aisyah's release and alleged the young migrant worker had no idea she was being "manipulated by North Korean intelligence".

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Malaysia's Attorney-General Chambers issued the order last Friday not to prosecute Ms Siti, according to a letter revealed by the Indonesian embassy in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Aisyah said she hopes Huong is also freed.

Some South Korean lawmakers said the North Korean regime had ordered the assassination of Kim Jong Nam, who had been critical of his family's dynastic rule.

SULLIVAN: "I feel very, very happy", she said, amid the glare of TV lights and shouted questions from reporters. Pyongyang denies the accusation.

Analysts said Aisyah's release was in part due to politics and the improved relations between Indonesia and Malaysia that have come since Mahathir Mohamad returned to the Malaysian premiership past year after the stunning election defeat of Najib Razak.

"I told Siti to stay put for the meantime until the situation cools down, which would let her plan a better life ahead", said President Jokowi after welcoming Siti Aisyah at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta today, March 12.

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