Published: Sat, March 16, 2019
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Vietnam family of Kim murder suspect urge her not to lose hope

Vietnam family of Kim murder suspect urge her not to lose hope

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 worldwide airport in February 2017, believing they were taking part in a prank for a television show.

Indonesia had mounted a sustained diplomatic offensive to free 27-year-old Aisyah, while Vietnam had only stepped up pressure since the Indonesian woman's release this week. He said prosecutors were being unfair to Huong as her case was similar to Aisyah.

Huong's co-defendant, Indonesian Siti Aisyah, was freed on Monday.

Speaking outside the courthouse after hearing the decision, Teh told reporters about his concerns for Doan Thi Huong's health, saying "she's not proper frame of mind, mentally and physically".

After the ruling was announced, Huong wept and pressed Vietnamese ambassador to Malaysia Lê Quý Quỳnh's hands to her forehead.

"We will request Malaysia to have fair judgment and release her as soon as possible", he said.

Judge Azmin Ariffin accepted Teh's request and adjourned the case to 9 a.m. on April 1.

Defence lawyers have maintained the women were pawns in an assassination.

Interpol issued a red alert for four North Koreans who Malaysian police identified as suspects and who left the country hours after the murder.

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. "I think she must given the opportunity to be treated by a doctor".

The decision to move forward with Huong's case was slammed by both her lawyer and Vietnam's ambassador, who had hoped she would be given the same leniency as Aisyah. They have said they thought they were taking part in a prank for a TV show. There was security camera footage of Huong.

A Malaysian prosecutor said yesterday that Huong, 30, would remain on trial for the gruesome murder of Mr Kim Jong Nam with a toxic nerve agent at a busy Kuala Lumpur airport in 2017.

"My message to the other woman workers, please don't easily trust the others".

Vietnam's ministers of justice and foreign affairs are communicating with their Malaysian counterparts to secure his client's release, Teh added.

"You can look at her, she was crying this morning, she was depressed, and she didn't sleep, perhaps did not eat well as well", he said.

Vietnamese authorities had been tight-lipped about the case. They did not disclose whether Huong's detention was discussed during Kim Jong Un's visit last month to Hanoi, where he met US President Donald Trump and Vietnamese leaders.

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