Malaysia pushes trial of Vietnamese woman in Kim murder

Cheryl Sanders
March 16, 2019

Vietnam's justice minister had also written to Malaysia's attorney-general asking for her to be freed.

Indonesia had mounted a sustained diplomatic offensive to get Aisyah freed, while Vietnam had only stepped up pressure since the Indonesian woman's release this week.

Huong cried as she spoke to Vietnamese Embassy officials after Thursday's court hearing ended.

Huong's lawyer, Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, told the court that the decision was "perverse".

Prosecutor Iskandar Ahmad did not explain the decision to continue the trial of Doan Thi Huong.

The women allegedly smeared a lethal dose of VX, a chemical nerve agent, on the face of Kim Jong Nam at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on February 13, 2017. They say they were tricked by North Korean spies into carrying out the Cold War-style killing using a highly toxic nerve agent, and believed it was a prank for a reality TV show.

Four North Koreans who fled Malaysia shortly after the murder were identified by police as suspects. "They were charged with the same thing, it's such an injustice".

Huong has been on trial since last one and a half year.

The legal teams of both women have argued that they were pawns in the audacious assassination of Kim Jong-nam, 45, that was orchestrated behind-the-scenes by North Korean agents. "We will arrange a letter for her treatment".

Huong's lawyer has said that Huong has not been able to sleep since the unexpected release of Siti.

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.

Her trial, which was supposed to start yesterday, has been postponed until April 1 after the court found the accused unfit to take the stand. The defense part of the trial was to have started Monday.

"I had hoped for good news today, but unfortunately there is none".

"I am very sad".

The 30-year-old was brought from prison to hospital in a van accompanied by several police cars and heavily armed officers wearing balaclavas, according to one of the officers escorting her. "I ask my lord to show mercy and compassion to her to give her some space", he said.

Huong's stepmother Nguyen Thi Vy was so hopeful her stepdaughter would be back Thursday she bought extra cassava at the market for a celebration meal with the media that had gathered at her home since early Thursday. They said they would make a second representation to the attorney general.

Under the Malaysian penal code, the conviction of murder comes with a mandatory death sentence.

The other, Indonesian national Siti Aisyah, was freed on Monday in a surprise ruling.

Teh suggested Attorney General and Public Prosecutor Tommy Tomas practiced "discrimination" in releasing Siti Aisyah but not his client, Bloomberg reported Thursday. "Our rights under the Federal Constitution have been violated", Teh said, adding that both of the defendants had "been charged with the same offense".

Analysts have said the case against Aisyah appeared weaker since there was no video evidence of her accosting Kim at the airport.

Other reports by iNewsToday