Advertisement

Woman accused of killing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's brother freed

By Darryl Coote
Woman accused of killing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's brother freed
Siti Aisyah, center, leaves the Shah Alam High Court, Shah Alam, Malaysia after prosecutors withdraw murder charges against the Indonesian suspect. Photo by EPA-EFE/STR MALAYSIA OUT

March 11 (UPI) -- An Indonesian woman accused of the 2017 killing of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's half brother was released Monday after the prosecution asked for all charges against her to be withdrawn.

A judge with the Malaysian Shah Alam High Court discharged Siti Aisyah, 26, without an acquittal after the prosecution asked for her charges to be withdrawn, the Straits Times reported.

Advertisement

The prosecution gave no reason for its decision.

Aisyah had been accused along with Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong, 30, of killing Kim Jong Nam at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Feb. 13, 2017.

RELATED North Korea mentions summit failure in party newspaper

The two had allegedly smeared a lethal dose of a chemical nerve agent, known as VX, on Kim Jong Nam's face, which killed him in 15 minutes.

The two women have said they were conned by North Korean agents into committing the murder, stating that they had thought they were performing a prank for a reality TV show.

"I feel happy," Aisyah said after being told she was free to leave. "I did not know this will happen. I did not expect it."

Advertisement
RELATED North Korea defectors worried about safety after inter-Korea summits

Her lawyer, Gooi Soon Seng, said that her client would soon be returning to her native Indonesia.

"I finished my job," she said. "She's a free person now."

Once free of the courthouse, Aisyah was ushered into an Indonesian embassy car waiting outside.

RELATED North Korean media airs documentary film on Trump-Kim summit

Aisyah had spent some two years in Malaysian custody.

Huong was supposed to testify for the first time Monday, but her trial was postponed following the surprise decision.

Her lawyer, Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, has also asked for her client's charges to be withdrawn.

Judge Azmi said he would allow the postponement in the "interest of justice."

"However, I will only allow until Thursday," he said, adding that if her request is rejected, the trial will continue.

The murder allegedly caused a diplomatic rift between North Korea and Vietnam, with both countries issuing travel bans against one another. Hanoi even went so far as to consider even cutting ties with Pyongyang.

However, North Korea had allegedly offered its ally an apology in December.

Just last month Hanoi hosted a summit between North Korea and the United States.

Kim Jong Nam was the eldest son of former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and was considered the heir apparent until 2001 when he became estranged from his family after he was arrested for trying to enter Japan with a Dominican passport.

Advertisement

He was allegedly carrying doses of an antidote to VX at the time of his death, signaling that he was worried his younger half brother might try to murder him in order to solidify his claim as leader of the North Korean regime.

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement