Tuesday, 26 March, 2019

Jokowi Urges Siti Aisyah to Temporarily Stay Put at Home

President Joko Widodo and Siti Aisyah. TEMPO  Subekti Vietnam Asks Malaysia to Free Woman Accused of Poisoning Kim Jong Nam
Ellis Copeland | 15 March, 2019, 15:38

"(He) asked Malaysia to ensure a fair trial, and to set free Doan Thi Huong", Voice of Vietnam radio reported after Mr Minh's call with Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah. Huong will still stand trial, though her lawyer, Teh Poh Teik, insists that she too is just a scapegoat and says that he is seeking her release on the basis that there is no difference between her case and that of Aisyah.

The 27-year-old Indonesian woman, Siti Aisyah, has been behind bars for two years on charges of poisoning Kim Jong-Nam at Kuala Lumpur's airport on February 13, 2017, with the toxic nerve agent VX, an internationally-prohibited chemical weapon.

On Monday (March 11), the Shah Alam High Court granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal to Siti Aisyah.

The women denied committing murder, saying they believed they were taking part in a prank and were deceived by North Korean agents. During the trial, the court was shown CCTV footage of two women allegedly assaulting Kim Jong Nam while he prepared to check in for a flight.

Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, a suspect in the murder of Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, is set to appear in court on Thursday.

Prosecutors told the court that they had been instructed to withdraw the charge against Siti Aisyah.

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When asked what was the first thing she wanted to do, she said: "I want to see my family". He had been living overseas for years but could have been seen as a threat to Kim Jong Un's rule.

Kim Jong Nam had fled North Korea shortly after his brother, Kim Jong Un, took over after their father's death. Pyongyang has denied the accusation.

"Until today, we do not know what were the exceptional circumstances that were needed for the attorney-general to review the charge against Siti Aisyah".

Thomas wrote in a letter to Indonesia's minister of law and human rights that prosecutors chose to drop Aisyah's charges and release her "taking into account the good relations" between Malaysia and Indonesia. "They can always use the excuse (which they did) she was an innocent player manipulated by North Korea".

Laoly said Siti Aisyah's release, after over two years in prison, was the result of high-level diplomacy by his government, including meetings with Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the attorney-general.

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