Malaysia frees Indonesian woman accused of Kim Jong Nam’s poisoning

Blanche Robertson
March 15, 2019

Siti Aisyah, who had worked as a masseuse at a hotel in the Malaysian capital, and Huong, who described herself as an actress, had maintained that they believed they had been hired to participate in a reality TV prank show. They have gone through the proceedings and the charge was being withdrawn, so this is being done according to the law.

"I feel so happy".

One of them, Salim Bashir, said a letter of representation was sent to AG Tommy Thomas yesterday afternoon for his consideration.

Lawyers for the women have previously said that they were pawns in a political assassination with clear links to the North Korean Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, and that the prosecution failed to show the women had any intention to kill. No reason was given.

Indonesia's government said its continued high-level lobbying had resulted in Aisyah's release and alleged the young migrant worker had no idea she was being "manipulated by North Korean intelligence". It said Minh requested the Malaysian court conduct a fair trial and free Doan Thi Huong. Authorities believe that Kim Jong Un had his half-brother assassinated as part of an effort to consolidate his power after he became the ruler of North Korea. Although the two women were being tried together, the cases against them were separate, and the court had asked the Indonesian woman to present her defence first.

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The Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA), an opposition party, said withdrawing the murder charge against Aisyah was "a fiasco". "We are making representation to the attorney general for Doan to be taken equally.there must be justice".

Kim Jong Nam had lived in exile in Macau for several years before the killing, having fled his homeland after his half-brother became North Korea's leader in 2011 following their father's death.

Siti Aisyah's trial was suspended in December as her lawyers argued with prosecutors over access to statements made by seven witnesses. "I am still in shock", she told reporters at the Foreign Ministry after meeting President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo on Tuesday.Siti went to the Presidential Palace with her parents, Asria and Benah, as well as her sister, and engaged in a brief talk with Jokowi.

Analysts said Aisyah's release was in part due to politics and the improved relations between Indonesia and Malaysia that have come since Mahathir Mohamad returned to the Malaysian premiership past year after the stunning election defeat of Najib Razak.

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