Vietnam asks Malaysia to free Vietnamese suspect in Kim Jong-nam murder case

By Anh Ngoc   March 12, 2019 | 06:30 pm PT
Vietnam asks Malaysia to free Vietnamese suspect in Kim Jong-nam murder case
Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, who is on trial for the killing of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korea's leader, arrives at the Shah Alam High Court on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia March 11, 2019. Photo by Reuters/Lai Seng Sin
Vietnam has sought the release of the Vietnamese woman accused of murdering North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's half-brother in Malaysia in 2017.

Vietnam's Deputy PM Pham Binh Minh, who is also the foreign minister, spoke with Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah by telephone on Tuesday and discussed Doan Thi Huong’s indictment in the alleged murder of Kim Chol among other bilateral issues.

Minh said Vietnam's leaders and the public are closely following the case and asked Malaysia to "ensure a fair trial for Huong and set her free."

His request follows a Malaysian court’s dropping of murder charges against Indonesian co-accused Siti Aisyah and her release on Monday.

The Indonesian government had persistently lobbied for dropping the charges against her and releasing her, with Minister of Law and Human Rights Yasonna Laoly writing to Malaysian Attorney General Tommy Thomas to state that Aisyah had been deceived.

Huong’s lawyers have now demanded that the Malaysian attorney general should drop the charges against her too and set her free.

Huong, 30, and Aisyah, 26, were accused of using the nerve agent VX to assassinate Kim, who the U.S. and South Korea have claimed was Kim Jong-nam, at Kuala Lumpur's international airport on February 13, 2017.

But the two women have repeatedly said they believed they were taking part in a prank and had been tricked by North Korean secret agents.

Watch CCTV camera footage of the attack.

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