Malaysia won't drop case against Vietnamese in Kim killing

  • Malaysia won't drop case against Vietnamese in Kim killing

Malaysia won't drop case against Vietnamese in Kim killing

"In reference to the representation submitted on March 11 to the honourable attorney-general, we got an order to proceed with the case", lead prosecutor Muhammad Iskandar Ahmad told the High Court in Shah Alam, outside Kuala Lumpur.

Prosecutors in court Thursday gave no explanation why they refused to drop the murder charge against Doan Thi Huong. "Only God knows that we did not commit the murder".

"It's our complaint that the public prosecution has not acted fairly and justly to Doan Thi Huong", her lawyer Hisyam Teh, who asked for an adjournment on the grounds that his client was unwell.

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

"Very obviously, there is discrimination".

"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. 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.

Prosecutors said Aisyah and Huong were well-trained assassins but their lawyers argued the four North Koreans were the masterminds.

Proceedings were scheduled to resume on Monday with Ms Huong testifying - but the unexpected release of her co-accused led to the trial being adjourned so the Vietnamese suspect could also seek her freedom. He said Huong only slept an hour a night since Aisyah's release and was not in a position to testify.

Ms Huong, who arrived at court in a bulletproof vest and red headscarf, has already been on trial for a year and a half.

In Huong's home village her father Doan Van Thanh, who had washed bed sheets in anticipation of her homecoming, was left heartbroken: 'I am very sad. The defense phase of the trial was to have begun Monday.

The Vietnamese defendant, who had to be helped out of court by two police officers following the shock announcement, tearfully told reporters: 'I am depressed. The Indonesian embassy flew her to Jakarta the same day.

The decision means that Doan Thi Huong of Vietnam will remain as the only 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. He urged the attorney-general to be transparent and explain why he dropped the case against Aisyah but not Huong.

Mr Kim died on the way to hospital from what was later found to be exposure to the nerve agent VX, one of the most toxic of all known chemical agents.

Both women insist they are innocent.

A similar white top was worn by a woman shown in CCTV footage from the terminal minutes after Jong-nam was poisoned to death.

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. He had been living overseas for years but could have been seen as a threat to Kim Jong Un's rule.