World Media

Malaysia nixes Vietnam call to free defendant in Kim murder

Malaysia nixes Vietnam call to free defendant in Kim murder

Malaysian judge Azmi Ariffin had made that ruling last August based on the testimony of 34 witnesses and airport security camera footage tendered by the prosecution. The prosecutor did not elaborate.

The Malaysian court had dropped the charge against Siti Aisyah and freed her on Monday.

Huong's lawyers said they were deeply disappointed with the decision and the attorney general had a "moral obligation" to explain the reasoning given the worldwide nature of the case.

Asked about traces of VX nerve agent that were found under her fingernails, Teh said Doan had no knowledge that the liquid substance on her palm was the internationally banned chemical.

"Doan is a scapegoat", said lead defence lawyer Hisyam Teoh Poh Teik. "Her case is the same as Siti Aisyah's". There are no differences, similar evidence and the same defence.

Indonesian Siti Aisyah, left, and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, right, are escorted by police as they leave their court hearing at Shah Alam court house in Shah Alam, outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on October 2, 2017.

Huong, Aisyah and the four North Koreans were accused of exposing Kim to the VX as he entered an airport in Kuala Lumpur on the outskirts of the Malaysian capital, killing him in minutes.

Kim Jong Nam fell out of favor some two decades ago and lived in self-imposed exile in the Chinese-controlled territory of Macau.

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Human Rights Watch called the announcement a "thuggish attempt to penalise investigators" at the court. Major powers, including the United States, China and Russian Federation , are not members.

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.

Huong arrived in court looking anxious.

Teh explained that this was for Huong to receive medical treatment as she was distressed since Monday, and was only able to sleep one hour per day.

The next hearing will take place on April 1.

"As the AG need not give reasons for his decision, Doan will never know why she was treated differently from Siti Aisyah".

Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong broke down in tears as a prosecutor declared her trial in Malaysia would continue.

Huong bowed her head as she was escorted back to prison by armed police. The man was dead within 20 minutes, and the women - who said they thought they were taking part in a Japanese game show - were arrested and charged with murder. The North denies the claim.

However Huong told the media through an interpreter that she wasn't bitter Aisyah was freed and she was not. Indonesia's Law and Human Rights Ministry sent a formal letter to Malaysian Attorney General Tommy Thomas, to which he responded on Friday last week.


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