2nd Suspect Pleads Guilty in Murder of Kim Jong Nam

Doan Thi Huong could be free in weeks
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 1, 2019 2:22 AM CDT
2nd Suspect Pleads Guilty in Kim Jong Nam Case
Doan Thi Huong, center, is escorted by police as she leaves Shah Alam High Court in Shah Alam, Malaysia, Monday, April 1, 2019.   (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

A Vietnamese woman who is the only suspect in custody for the killing of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's brother pleaded guilty to a lesser charge in a Malaysian court on Monday and her lawyer said she could be freed as early as next month. Doan Thi Huong had faced a murder charge, which carried the death penalty if she was convicted, in the slaying of Kim Jong Nam, who died after being accosted by two women in a Kuala Lumpur airport terminal. Huong nodded as a translator read the new charge to her: voluntarily causing injury with a dangerous weapon, VX nerve agent. High Court judge Azmi Ariffin sentenced Huong to three years and four months from the day she was arrested on Feb. 15, 2017. The new charge carried a maximum sentence of 10 years.

Huong's lawyer, Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, says his client is expected to be freed by the first week of May, after a one-third reduction in her sentence for good behavior, the AP reports. "I am happy," Huong, 30, told reporters as she left the courtroom, adding she thought it was a fair outcome. Huong is the only suspect in custody after the Malaysian attorney general's stunning decision to drop the murder case against Indonesian citizen Siti Aisyah on March 11. The original charge alleged the two women colluded with four North Koreans to murder Kim with VX nerve agent they smeared on his face as he was passing through the airport on Feb. 13, 2017. The women said they thought they were taking part in a harmless prank for a TV show.

(More Kim Jong Nam stories.)

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