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

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

Malaysian prosecutors rejected an appeal to drop a murder charge against one of the two women accused of using the deadly nerve agent VX to murder the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, just days after allowing her co-defendant to walk free.

A Malaysian court on Thursday announced it would temporarily postpone the trial of Vietnamese citizen Đoàn Thị Hương, a suspect in the murder of a North Korean national in 2017, due to her health condition, Vietnam News Agency reports.

She has been on trial for a year and a half over the 2017 assassination of Kim Jong Nam at Kuala Lumpur airport that shocked the world. "Only God knows that we did not commit the murder", she said.

"I want my family to pray for me".

Prosecutor Iskandar Ahmad gave no explanation for the refusal to drop the murder charge against Doan Thi Huong, who is the only suspect in custody after the stunning decision Monday to drop the case against Indonesian Siti Aisyah.

The decision was made to allow Hương to take a rest after she showed signs of mental disorder, according to Azmi Ariffin, Judge of the Shah Alam High Court of Selangor State of Malaysia.

Vietnamese Ambassador Le Quy Quynh said he was "disappointed", and that his country had been lobbying for Huong's release, and would continue to do so.

"We will request Malaysia to be fair and to release her as soon as possible".

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.

Huong's lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik said he would closely work with the Vietnamese Embassy in Malaysia to get the charges dropped.

The decision has caused disappointment after the other person accused in the case, an Indonesian woman, was acquitted and set free Monday.

He also sought a deferment of the trial, saying Huong has been unwell since Aisyah's release and is not in a position to testify.

Vietnam had increased pressure on Malaysia to release Huong since Aisyah was freed, with the foreign minister this week pressing his Malaysian counterpart on the issue and the justice minister writing to the attorney-general.

Siti Aisyah and Doan Thi Huong, the two women accused of killing Kim Jong Nam.

Huong was sobbing as she spoke to Vietnamese Embassy officials after Thursday's court hearing ended.

Huong could face a death sentence if she is convicted.

In a statement, Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh said subjecting Doan to further prosecution, but not her co-accused, "particularly when a prima facie case has been found against both of them is, with respect, unprecedented and regrettable".

He was once seen as a future leader of the isolated country, but when his father Kim Jong-il died, he was bypassed in favour of the younger Kim. Pyongyang denies the claim.



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