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Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong makes 2nd court appearance for Kim Jong-nam murder

Thursday, April 13, 2017, 15:05 GMT+7

Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, one of two women accused of murdering North Korean national Kim Jong-nam, arrived at the Sepang court complex in Malaysia for her second court appearance on Thursday.

The Sepang court ruled Thursday morning that Huong would stand trial again on May 30 after the prosecution requested more time to collect the required documents.

Huong, 29, and Indonesian national Siti Aisyah, 25, were escorted to the courthouse just before 8:00 am by two separate police convoys arriving minutes apart, according to reports by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper journalists present at the scene.

Security was tightened around the court complex, with only around 20 reporters allowed inside the courtroom to cover the proceedings, all of whom were asked to leave bags and cellphones at the door.

Malaysian security forces and police officers had been securing the perimeter of the courthouse since early morning, with two separate registration tables set up for domestic and foreign journalists.

Đoàn Thị Hương: 'Xin cảm ơn mọi người đã giúp đỡ'

Malaysian police forces are seen inside the Sepang court in Malaysia, April 13, 2017. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Đoàn Thị Hương: 'Xin cảm ơn mọi người đã giúp đỡ'

Malaysian special forces are seen outside the Sepang court in Malaysia, April 13, 2017. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Đoàn Thị Hương: 'Xin cảm ơn mọi người đã giúp đỡ'

Malaysian special forces are seen outside the Sepang court in Malaysia, April 13, 2017. Photo: Reuters

Tuoi Tre’s Le Nam was one of only two Vietnamese media representatives granted access to the courtroom.

Huong’s representing lawyers, Naran Singh and Teh Poh Teik, arrived at the courthouse at roughly 8:00 am, joined by four assistant lawyers.

Three experienced lawyers from the Vietnam Bar Association who volunteered to assist Huong’s defense were also present at the trial to support their Malaysian counterparts.

Reporters and photojournalists crowded the courthouse’s front gate, as only one journalist from each news organization was allowed inside the compound.

 Malaysian lawyers Naran Singh and Teh Poh Teik are surrounded by journalists as they arrive at the Sepang court in Malaysia, April 13, 2017. Clip: Tuoi Tre

Đoàn Thị Hương: 'Xin cảm ơn mọi người đã giúp đỡ'

 Malaysian lawyers Naran Singh and Teh Poh Teik arrive at the Sepang court in Malaysia, April 13, 2017. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Đoàn Thị Hương: 'Xin cảm ơn mọi người đã giúp đỡ'

Journalists and cameramen crowd the front gate of the Sepang court in Malaysia, April 13, 2017. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Đoàn Thị Hương: 'Xin cảm ơn mọi người đã giúp đỡ'

Journalists and cameramen crowd the front gate of the Sepang court in Malaysia, April 13, 2017. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Đoàn Thị Hương: 'Xin cảm ơn mọi người đã giúp đỡ'

Journalists and cameramen crowd the front gate of the Sepang court in Malaysia, April 13, 2017. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Contrary to earlier reports, Huong’s father Doan Van Thanh was not present at the court for his daughter’s proceedings.

The Vietnamese suspect was dressed in long-sleeved, blue T-shirt, and appeared to be in good morale.

When asked whether she understood her charges, Huong nodded but remained silent.

The magistrate set to hear the prosecutors' request that the two women be tried jointly in a higher court, according to Reuters.

However, at 9:42 am sharp, after roughly 20 minutes of court proceedings, it was ruled that the hearing be deferred to May 30 after the prosecution requested more time to collect the required documents.

Before being escorted back to her detention facility, Huong expressed her gratitude toward her lawyers, the Vietnamese embassy representative, and her interpreter.

“Thank you! Thank you for your support!” she said in Vietnamese and waved at those in attendance before being taken back to Kajang Prison in Selangor, Malaysia.

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Indonesian Siti Aisyah, who is charged with the murder of Kim Jong Nam, is escorted by police as she leaves a Sepang court in Malaysia, April 13, 2017. Photo: Reuters

At the first Sepang court hearing on March 1, Doan Thi Huong and Siti Aisyah were charged separately with murder for the killing of Kim Jong-nam, believed to be the estranged half-brother of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un. Neither suspect entered a plea and prosecutors were set to apply for the accused to be tried jointly.

Huong and Aishah were arrested following the death of Kim Jong-nam at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on February 13 while the North Korean was traveling using a passport with the name Kim Chol.

Security camera footage of the incident appears to show the two suspects smearing VX nerve agent on the victim’s face.

At a court hearing last month, the pair were each charged under Section 302 of the Penal Code. If found guilty, they face the death penalty.

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