03/11/2019, 09.36
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Kuala Lumpur: the Indonesian accused of the murder of Kim Jong-nam is free

by Mathias Hariyadi

The killing took place on February 13, 2017, at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (Klia). The other defendant, a 30 year old Vietnamese, remains in prison. The two women claim to have been duped by some North Korean agents. For Jakarta, the intervention of President Widodo was decisive.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - The High Court of Shah Alam (Malaysia) has withdrawn the charges of murder and released Siti Aisyah (photo), 26 year old Indonesian accused of the murder of Kim Jong-nam, half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. On the other hand, the proceeding against Doan Thi Huong, a 30-year-old Vietnamese, continues and will re-open in three days time.

The killing took place on February 13, 2017, at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (Klia). The two women were arrested three days after the murder and accused of spraying Kim Jong-nam's face with a powerful nerve gas known as Agent Vx, which in 20 minutes led to the collapse of the victim's nervous system. Since the arrest, Siti Aisyah and Doan Thi Huong have defended their innocence by claiming they were cheated by some North Korean agents, who involved them in what they thought was a television joke.

The young Vietnamese woman is now the only suspect in custody of the Malaysian authorities, in what South Korean intelligence calls a conspiracy hatched by Pyongyang to assassinate the leader's brother, reputed to be a dissident.

According to reports from the Kuala Lumpur police, four North Koreans involved in the plot left the country on the day of the assassination. Three others were allowed to return to North Korea, in an exchange for the repatriation of nine Malaysians kidnapped by Pyongyang.

The Indonesian government welcomed the news of the release of Siti Aisyah, underlining the decisive intervention of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo. The Siti Aisyah case was the focus of several meetings between the authorities of Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur, in June 2018 in Bogor (West Java) between Widodo and the Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad and two months later between the delegations of the two countries in Putrajaya ( Malaysia).

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