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Malaysia frees Vietnamese woman accused of killing North Korean Kim Jong Nam

Friday, May 03, 2019, 09:03 GMT+7
Malaysia frees Vietnamese woman accused of killing North Korean Kim Jong Nam
Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, who was a suspect in the murder case of North Korean leader's half brother Kim Jong Nam, leaves the Shah Alam High Court on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia March 14, 2019. Photo: Reuters

A Vietnamese woman who spent more than two years in a Malaysian prison on suspicion of killing North Korean citizen Kim Jong Nam was freed on Friday, her lawyer said.

Doan Thi Huong, 30, was charged along with an Indonesian woman with poisoning Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader, by smearing his face with liquid VX, a banned chemical weapon, at Kuala Lumpur airport in February 2017.

Malaysian prosecutors dropped a murder charge against Huong last month after she pleaded guilty to an alternate charge of causing harm. Huong will return to Vietnam later on Friday, her lawyer, Hisyam Teh, told Reuters.

Huong was taken into immigration custody immediately after her release from prison and will remain there before boarding a flight to Hanoi, the Vietnamese capital.

Teh said his client may speak at a brief news conference before boarding her flight.

“In the event she is unable to talk to media I will read out a statement from her,” he said.

Huong’s co-accused, Siti Aisyah, was freed in March after prosecutors also dropped a murder charge against her.

Defense lawyers have maintained the women were pawns in the murder orchestrated by North Korean agents. The women said they thought they were part of a reality prank show and did not know they were poisoning Kim.

Four North Korean men were also charged but they left Malaysia hours after the murder and remain at large.

Malaysia came under criticism for charging the two women with murder - which carries a mandatory death penalty in the Southeast Asian country - when the key perpetrators were still being sought.

Reuters - Tuoi Tre News

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