A Vietnamese woman charged with assassinating the North Korean leader’s half-brother lost her bid for immediate release Thursday as Malaysian authorities refused to drop a murder charge, days after her Indonesian co-accused was freed.
“In reference to the representation submitted on March 11 to the honourable attorney-general, we got an order to proceed with the case,” lead prosecutor Muhammad Iskandar Ahmad told the High Court in Shah Alam, outside Kuala Lumpur.
Doan Thi Huong, 30, has been on trial for a year and a half over the 2017 assassination of Kim Jong Nam at Kuala Lumpur airport that shocked the world.
She sobbed in the dock as the news was announced, and tearfully told reporters: “I am not angry that Siti has been freed. Only God knows that we did not commit the murder.
“I want my family to pray for me.“
The Indonesian woman accused alongside her — Siti Aisyah — was unexpectedly released Monday after prosecutors withdrew the murder charge against her. They did not offer any explanation but it followed intense lobbying from the Indonesian government.
Judge Azmi Ariffin said Huong was not “physically and mentally” well enough to continue with the trial on Thursday, and adjourned proceedings until April 1.
Vietnamese ambassador to Malaysia, Le Quy Quynh, told AFP at the court: “I’m very disappointed that the court did not free Doan.
“We will request Malaysia to be fair and to release her as soon as possible.”