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Vietnam asks Malaysia to free citizen tried in Kim Jong Nam murder

Wednesday, March 13, 2019, 11:40 GMT+7
Vietnam asks Malaysia to free citizen tried in Kim Jong Nam murder
Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh speaks on the phone with Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah on March 12, 2019. Photo: baoquocte.vn

Vietnam has requested Malaysia to release Doan Thi Huong, a Vietnamese national who is being held and tried in Malaysia on charges of assassinating a North Korean citizen in 2017.

The official request was made by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh during a phone call on Tuesday to Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah, Vietnam’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

Doan Thi Huong, 30, is charged with killing North Korean national Kim Jong Nam by smearing his face with a chemical poison at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on February 13, 2017.

The other former suspect in the case, 27-year-old Indonesian Siti Aisyah, was released from custody on Monday after a Malaysian court dropped a murder charge against her.

Huong also appeared at the same court, which has been postponed until Thursday upon a request from the Vietnamese woman’s defense lawyer, who filed a request for her acquittal to the Malaysian justice minister.

Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong arrives at a court in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on March 11, 2019. Photo: Reuters

Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong arrives at a court in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on March 11, 2019. Photo: Reuters

The trial of Doan Thi Huong and its results are matters of great interest to Vietnam’s leaders and the Vietnamese public, Deputy PM Minh told the Malaysian foreign minister during Tuesday’s call.

Vietnam asks that Malaysia give Huong a fair trial and free her from custody, Minh said.

The foreign ministers acknowledged Vietnam and Malaysia’s recent close coordination on bilateral and multilateral issues and agreed to continue elevating high-level exchange and maintaining bilateral cooperation mechanisms to strengthen and deepen the strategic partnership between the two countries.

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