Malaysia court frees woman in North Korea murder case

Kim Jong-nam: Indonesian woman to be freed in murder case

Kim Jong-nam: Indonesian woman to be freed in murder case

Both Siti, and another woman - Vietnamese national Duan Thi Huong - were arrested after they were seemingly captured on airport CCTV helping carry out Kim Jong-nam's murder by smearing a nerve agent on his face in the middle of Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2.

Siti Aisyah, one of the two women accused of murdering Kim Jong-nam at Kuala Lumpur airport in February 2017, has been freed from jail after Malaysian authorities agreed to drop the charge.

Huong's lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik said Huong felt Aisyah's discharge was unfair to her as the judge previous year had found sufficient evidence to continue the murder trial against them.

Mr Wahyu Susilo, the executive director of non-governmental organisation Migrant CARE, also welcomed her release, adding that the Indonesian government must now help to restore Ms Siti's good name.

Laoly said Siti Aisyah's release, after over two years in prison, was the result of high-level diplomacy by his government, including meetings with Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the attorney-general.

Co-defendant Ms Huong was expected to read a statement in court on Monday which would be the first time either of the two gave testimony.

The Judge approved the request saying "Siti Aisyah is freed", but this does not amount to an acquittal, according to APF news agency.

But speaking to reporters through an interpreter in court, Huong said she felt "terrible" about her own position.

Left to stand trial by herself after Siti Aisyah's release, Huong was still sobbing as she prepared to take the stand on Monday at the start of her defense. "I didn't expect that today will be the day of my freedom". They fled the country immediately after the murder and are now formally accused in the case. Her lawyers said she was heading to the Indonesian Embassy and was expected to fly to Jakarta, Indonesia's capital, soon.

Indonesian Ambassador to Malaysia Rusdi Kirana, who attended the proceedings on Monday, expressed his satisfaction with the turn of events. She said that she was well treated in prison and received plenty of encouragement, but that she was eager to meet her family again.

"The process was long and she turned out to be innocent, having fallen victim to a conspiracy believing she was taking part in a prank for a reality television show, not knowing she was being used", he said.

This article, Indonesian woman at the center of Kim Jong-nam assassination has case dropped, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.

Benah said she is unaware of what will happen next, but plans to "make sure that Siti will only work at home".

A murder conviction carries a mandatory penalty of death by hanging in Malaysia.

Malaysian officials have never officially accused North Korea and have made it clear they don't want the trial politicized.

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. He had been living overseas for years but could have been seen as a threat to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's rule.

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