Vietnam asks Malaysia to ensure fair trial for Doan Thi Huong

Nellie Chapman
March 16, 2019

Indonesian Siti Aisyah was freed on Monday after the prosecution suddenly withdrew the charge against her.

The Vietnamese side has also mentioned the case during meetings at all levels, even the most senior levels, with the Malaysian side, she added.

Ambassador Le Quy Quynh said he was "very disappointed" with the decision.

Vietnam had increased pressure on Malaysia to release Huong since Aisyah was freed, with the country's foreign minister this week pressing his Malaysian counterpart on the issue and the justice minister writing to the attorney-general.

Indonesia mounted a diplomatic campaign to free Aisyah, with the country's justice minister writing to Malaysia's attorney-general asking for her release.

Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong leaves the Shah Alam High Court on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, March 14, 2019.

Prosecutor Iskandar Ahmad did not explain the decision to continue the trial of Doan Thi Huong. "There is discrimination as the prosecution favors one party to the other", he said.

Huong and Aisyah were accused of smearing the toxic VX nerve agent on Kim Jong Nam's face in an airport terminal in Kuala Lumpur on February 13, 2017. They say they were tricked by North Korean spies into carrying out the Cold War-style killing using a highly toxic nerve agent, and believed it was a prank for a reality TV show.

Doan Thi Huong is on trial for the 2017 assassination of Kim Jong Nam at klia2 in Sepang.

"I am of the view that the charge against Doan ought to have been dropped the same way it was dropped against Siti Aisyah if the AG was of the view that North Korea had a hand in Jong Nam's murder", Ramkarpal said.

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Huong's lawyer sought a deferment of the trial Thursday, saying she was unwell and needed medical treatment.

"Her case is the same as that of Siti Aisyah, there are no differences, similarities all around".

South Korea accuses Pyongyang of plotting the murder of Kim Jong Un's estranged relative, who was once seen as heir apparent to the North's leadership. The Guardian reported that Huong looked pale and drawn.

The trial is now expected to begin on April 1.

She was crushed when she did not get the good news she was hoping for.

He said he believes his daughter is innocent and told her to "stay calm and hope for the best outcome".

The decision means that Doan Thi Huong of Vietnam will remain as the only suspect in the case still behind bars.

"It's so unfair. They were together, did the same thing", she said. Malaysia now has a moratorium on executions but has backtracked on its announcement past year that it would abolish the death penalty.

Siti Aisyah was freed from custody without acquittal and allowed to return home Monday, a day before Moon arrived in Kuala Lumpur for a three-day state visit.

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