Kim Jong-Nam Murder Suspect Freed

Kim Jong-Nam Murder Suspect Freed

March 11, 2019, 9:47 a.m.

The Indonesian woman accused of killing Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, has been freed after the murder charge against her was dropped.

Siti Aisyah had been accused of smearing VX nerve agent on Mr Kim's face in Kuala Lumpur airport in 2017.

She and her co-accused, Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, deny murder and say they thought they were part of a TV prank.

Ms Aisyah could have faced the death penalty if convicted.

The prosecutor in the case requested the murder charge be dropped, without giving a reason. The Judge approved the request, saying "Siti Aisyah is freed". However, this does not amount to an acquittal according to the APF news agency.

BBC correspondent Jonathan Head, who is at the court in Kuala Lumpur, says there appears to have been less evidence against Ms Aisyah than against her Vietnamese co-defendant.

Ms Huong was expected to read a statement in court on Monday, which would be the first time either of the two had given testimony.

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How did the murder happen?

Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korea's leader, had been waiting to board a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Macau on 13 February 2017 when two women approached him in the departure area.

CCTV footage showed one of them placing her hands over his face, then both women leaving the scene.

Mr Kim died on the way to hospital from what was later found to be exposure to the nerve agent VX, one of the most toxic of all known chemical agents.

North Korea has fiercely denied any involvement in the killing, but four men - believed to be North Koreans who fled Malaysia on the day of the murder - have also been charged in the case.

They remain at large despite an Interpol "red notice", equivalent to an international arrest warrant.

Courtesy: BBC

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