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Malaysia: Won't Drop Case Against Vietnamese in Kim Murder

16 March 2019

During the trial, the court was shown CCTV footage of two women assaulting Kim Jong Nam while he prepared to check in for a flight, allegedly smearing the liquid VX, a banned chemical weapon, on his face.

The Vietnamese defendant, who had to be helped out of court by two police officers following the shock announcement, tearfully told reporters: 'I am depressed. "I want my family to pray for me", AFP news agency reports.

Huong's lawyers said CCTV video showing Huong walking up behind Kim and putting her hands over his face should have no bearing on the attorney general's decision, because both women were mounting the same defence and it had already been chose to free Siti Aisyah. "It's very obvious, my lord, that there is discrimination", he said.

Both women have said they thought they were taking part in a prank for a television show.

Huong's lawyers said they were deeply disappointed with the decision and the attorney general had a "moral obligation" to explain the reasoning given the global nature of the case.

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Malaysian prosecutors withdrew murder charges against her over the death of the victim.

Just as the defense phase of the trial was about to begin Monday, one of the women - an Indonesian named Siti Aisyah, 27 - was unexpectedly freed.

Ms Aisyah was only seen as a blurred figure fleeing the scene of the crime.

Huong has been on trial since last one and a half year.

Huong's lawyer has said that Huong has not been able to sleep since the unexpected release of Siti.

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Government lawyers announced the decision in court Thursday.

Prosecutor Iskandar Ahmad did not explain the decision to continue the trial of Doan Thi Huong. Instead the government said capital punishment would no longer be mandatory and courts would have discretion to impose the death penalty for 11 offenses. He said Vietnam's justice minister had written to Malaysia's chief attorney asking for Huong's release.

In Huong's home village her father Doan Van Thanh, who had washed bed sheets in anticipation of her homecoming, was left heartbroken: 'I am very sad. The government gave us the best support but the other side could not solve it, what can we do'.

"We will request Malaysia to have fair judgment and release her as soon as possible", he said. The witnesses said traces of VX were found on both women's clothes as well as on Huong's fingernails.

In late March 2017, the body of Kim, who lived in Macau, was eventually returned to North Korea despite weeks of diplomatic feuding between Kuala Lumpur and Pyongyang over his killing.

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Malaysia: Won't Drop Case Against Vietnamese in Kim Murder