Published: Sat, March 16, 2019
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Accused in Kim Jong-nam murder trial undergoes medical check

Accused in Kim Jong-nam murder trial undergoes medical check

But on Thursday, lead prosecutor Muhammad Iskandar Ahmad told the High Court in Shah Alam, outside Kuala Lumpur, that the attorney-general had ordered the case against Huong to proceed.

The Indonesian woman accused alongside her - Siti Aisyah - was unexpectedly released Monday after prosecutors withdrew the murder charge against her.

After the trial was postponed, Hương met with Vietnamese Ambassador to Malaysia Lê Quý Quỳnh.

"It's so unfair. They were together, did the same thing", she said.

Vietnamese ambassador to Malaysia, Le Quy Quynh, told AFP at the court: "I'm very disappointed that the court did not free Doan". He said Vietnam's justice minister had written to Malaysia's chief attorney asking for Huong's release. She said she was offered the job by a Malaysian man and ended up earning about $120, but declined to speak at length about the case.

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Hương, 30, is charged with killing a North Korean national whose passport name was Kim Chol by smearing his face with an illegal chemical poison at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on February 13, 2017.

But Huong says she was duped by North Korean spies into approaching him, believing it was a harmless prank for a TV show.

Four North Koreans who fled Malaysia for an unknown destination shortly after the assassination were also charged in absentia with the murder.

Ms Huong, who arrived at court in a bulletproof vest and red headscarf, has already been on trial for a year and a half. Intent to kill is crucial to a murder charge under Malaysian law.

Huong's lawyer had sought a delay for the trial Thursday.

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When asked by the judge if she was unwell, Huong stood in the dock and said she suffered from tension and stress.

"God knows me and Siti Aisyah didn't do anything", Huong said, according to her interpreter. He added she was not in a position to answer questions from both sides.

"I have no idea what is going on", Huong said in the courtroom Thursday. The defense part of the trial was to have started Monday.

Vietnam's foreign ministry said it regretted the Malaysian court's decision not to immediately free Huong. She could be seen shaking as she pleaded with Vietnam embassy officials.

She was crushed when she did not get the good news she was hoping for. "I had hoped my daughter would be freed like the Indonesian woman", said her 66-year-old father Doan Van Thanh.

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A murder conviction carries a mandatory penalty of death by hanging in Malaysia. It was decision which Hisham described as "discrimination" and evidence that the attorney general Tommy Thomas had "favoured" one defendant over another. It was also found on the women's clothes. The trial featured video recordings of two women allegedly assaulting Mr Kim. There was security camera footage of Huong. They said the women held their hands away from their bodies and went to separate restrooms to wash their hands afterwards.

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