Kim Jong Nam Murder Suspect Freed

Prosecutors unexpectedly drop charges
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 11, 2019 1:05 AM CDT
Kim Jong Nam Murder Suspect Freed
Vietnamese woman Doan Thi Huong, foreground, is escorted by police as she arrives at Shah Alam High Court in Shah Alam, Malaysia, Monday, March 11, 2019.   (AP Photo/Yam G-Jun)

An Indonesian woman held for two years on suspicion of killing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's half brother was freed from custody Monday after prosecutors unexpectedly dropped the murder charge against her. Siti Aisyah cried and hugged her Vietnamese co-defendant, Doan Thi Huong, before leaving the courtroom, the AP reports. She told reporters that she had only learned Monday morning that she would be freed. "I am surprised and very happy," she said. "I didn't expect it." The two young women were accused of smearing VX nerve agent on Kim Jong Nam's face in an airport terminal in Kuala Lumpur on Feb. 13, 2017.

The two women, who said they thought they were taking part in a prank for a TV show, had been the only suspects in custody after four North Korean suspects fled the country the same morning Kim was killed. The High Court judge discharged Aisyah without an acquittal after prosecutors said they wanted to withdraw the murder charge against her. They did not give a reason.The trial will resume Thursday, with prosecutors expected to reply to a request by Huong's lawyers asking the government to similarly withdraw the charges against her. (Last year, prosecutors argued that the two women were trained assassins.)

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