Indonesian Woman Suspected in Assassination of Kim Jong Un's Half-Brother Released

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An Indonesian woman has been freed after a Malaysian judge discharged the murder charge against her in the killing of the North Korean leader's half brother Kim Jong Nam.

In a dramatic turn of events, an Indonesian woman, Siti Aisyah, 26, accused in the 2017 chemical poison murder of Kim Jong Nam was freed on Monday after the Malaysian court dropped the charge.

While Indonesia lobbied for Aisyah's release, Vietnam has been more reluctant to get involved in a red family feud.

Aisyah and Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong were both charged with murdering Kim Jong Nam in February 2017.

"I feel happy, very happy that I can not express in words", she told reporters at Jakarta's airport.

The perimeter wall of the North Korean Embassy in Bukit Damansara has been vandalised ahead of the state visit of the South Korean President Moon Jae-in to Malaysia tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Huong said she was shocked by the development. Defense lawyers have maintained that the women were tricked into becoming unintentional assassins as they were under the impression of playing a prank for reality TV shows. They were the only suspects in custody after four North Korean suspects fled the country on the morning Kim was killed.

Huong was supposed to give her testimony from Monday until Thursday, but the court was adjourned until Thursday to allow her counsel to appeal her case to the attorney general. "Both of them were charged on the same evidence, the defense was called on fairly the same grounds", said Salim Bashir, one of Huong's lawyers. "She can leave now".

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Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly, who accompanied Siti at the press conference, thanked the Malaysian government for its support, following intense lobbying by Indonesia, which included talks with Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and its attorney-general, Tommy Thomas.

Siti headed back to the Indonesian Embassy, and plans to fly home to Indonesia tonight, embassy officials said.

Doan Thi Huong remains on trial for the murder of North Korean despot Kim Jong-un's brother Kim Jong Nam. "I did not expect that today will be the day of my freedom", she said.

"We still truly believe that she is merely a scapegoat and she is innocent", Gooi Soon Seng, Aisyah's lawyer said to journalists on Monday in Kuala Lumpur.

It said that over the past two years, Aisyah's plight was raised in "every bilateral Indonesia-Malaysia meeting", including at the president's level, the vice president's level and in regular meetings of the foreign minister and other ministers with their Malaysian counterparts.

Prosecutors had presented their case in the first stage of the trial.

It took 20 minutes for Kim Jong Nam to die after the banned nerve agent VX was spread on his face.