Vietnamese consular officials advise family of Kim murder suspect

By Viet Anh   March 2, 2017 | 06:16 am PT
Diplomatic channels seem to be the only way to help Doan Thi Huong escape the death penalty.

Officials from Vietnam's Consular Department on Thursday met with family members of the Vietnamese national being held for the murder of Kim Jong-Nam.

Doan Thi Huong, 28, is one of two suspects facing the death penalty if found guilty of the murder of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un's suspected half brother.

During the meeting, the officials clarified the legal procedures of the case and advised the family on how best to assist Huong legally in accordance with Malaysia’s laws and international practices.

On Wednesday, representatives from the Vietnamese Embassy in Malaysia attended a court session in Selangor to hear murder charges brought against Huong and fellow suspect, Siti Aisyah, 25, from Indonesia.

Police accuse the pair of having wiped VX nerve agent, a weapon of mass destruction and banned around the world, on Kim’s face at a Kuala Lumpur airport on February 13.

Consular officials in Malaysia will continue to take various measures, including helping her to find lawyers, to safeguard the legitimate rights of the Vietnamese citizen, the foreign ministry said.

The Vietnam Bar Association has also offered to provide legal assistance for Huong during the case.

The association's chairman, Do Ngoc Thinh, said Malaysian laws do not allow foreign lawyers to practice in their country, but Vietnam can find ways through diplomatic channels for its lawyers to help Huong.

The women claim they thought they were merely taking part in a prank video.

Selvam Shanmugam, Huong’s lawyer, said after the hearing that she denied the charge and said that she’s innocent.

She was “distressed,” he told Reuters.

The next court date will be April 13, when prosecutors will apply for the accused to be tried jointly.

Related news:

Vietnamese lawyers offer support to Kim murder suspect as death penalty looms

Malaysian court charges two women with Kim murder

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