Thursday, July 16, 2020
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Malaysia rejects requests to free suspect in Kim Jong Nam murder

Vietnam’s government expressed “regret” that Malaysia rejected its call to free a Vietnamese national being charged with murdering the half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, days after an alleged Indonesian co-conspirator was freed.
“We very much regret that the Malaysian high court did not release Vietnamese citizen Doan Thi Huong immediately,” said foreign affairs ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang at a press conference on Thursday.
Huong, 30, along with Indonesian national Siti Aisyah, 27, stood accused of murdering Kim Jong Nam by smearing deadly VX nerve agent on his face at a Kuala Lumpur airport in February 2017.  The Vietnamese national, dressed in a traditional Malaysian black dress and a red scarf, left the courthouse Thursday morning in tears after hearing that the trial against her is expected to continue as planned, even as a similar charge against her co-accused was dropped by prosecutors several days earlier. 
Prosecutors ordered a dismissal not amounting to an acquittal for Siti on Monday, which prompted Huong’s defence team to lodge a similar request for her “on the same basis.”
The move represented an abrupt turnaround for prosecutors, after a judge ruled last August there was “sufficient evidence” they had engaged in a “well-planned conspiracy” with four North Korean suspects in the murder, who remain at large.