Malaysia rejects Vietnam's request to free woman in murder trial
Malaysia rejects Vietnam's request to free woman in murder trial
Malaysia won't drop case against Vietnamese in Kim killing
15 March, 2019, 11:57
"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.
The Vietnamese woman charged with assassinating the North Korean leader's half-brother lost her bid for immediate release on Thursday when Malaysian authorities refused to drop a murder charge, days after her Indonesian co-accused was freed.
Doan Thi Huong, 30, in bullet-proof attire, was brought to the hospital under heavy guard in a van of the Prisons Department at 9.20 am and left at 10.40 am, said her lawyer, Salim Bashir.
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 global nature of the case.
Teh said, "It does not speak well of our criminal justice system".
Teh rejected speculation that Siti Aisyah's release was due to a lack of video evidence against her, saying the court had already established a case against both.
Given her mental and physical condition, the judge accepted her lawyer's assertion that Huong was in no condition to take the stand and give evidence in her own defence, agreeing to postpone the case until April 1.
Prosecutors said Aisyah and Huong were well-trained assassins but their lawyers argued the four North Koreans were the masterminds.
Hanoi had requested the release of Doan Thi Huong, 30, one of two women who claim they were duped into smearing VX poison on to Kim Jong-nam's face at Kuala Lumpur global airport in February 2017, believing they were taking part in a prank for a television show.
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Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un, had been waiting to board a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Macau on 13 February 2017 when two women approached him in the departure area.
"I don't understand why the other girl was released, but not my daughter", she said. "Very obviously, there is discrimination", he said, according to the Associated Press.
He said he believes his daughter is innocent and told her to "stay calm and hope for the best outcome". Teh said Huong was unwell and needed medical treatment.
The duo had been charged over the murder. The defense phase of the trial was to have begun Monday. They also said that government lawyers failed to prove that the women had aimed to kill Kim.
The decision means that Doan Thi Huong of Vietnam will remain as the only suspect in the case still behind bars. She could be seen shaking as she pleaded with Vietnam embassy officials.
A similar white top was worn by a woman shown in CCTV footage from the terminal minutes after Jong-nam was poisoned to death.
The trial featured airport video recordings of two women allegedly assaulting Kim Jong Nam while he prepared to check in for a flight.
Huong could face a death sentence if she is found guilty of the charges.
On Malaysia's request, Interpol has issued arrest warrant for the four men, who are believed to be back in Pyongyang, but North Korea is not a member of the organisation.
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