She was accused of having sprayed Kim Jong-nam's face with a powerful nerve gas. The young woman thought it was a television joke. Hương risked death by hanging: she pleaded guilty to a minor crime. The defense points the finger at four North Korean citizens: "The killers were not brought to justice".
Kuala Lumpur (AsiaNews) - Malaysian authorities this morning released Đoàn Thị Hương (photo), a 30-year-old Vietnamese and last defendant for the murder of Kim Jong-nam, half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Her release was announced by Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, one of the woman's lawyers. Last month, she signed an agreement with Kuala Lumpur prosecutors and pleaded guilty to a minor crime: "intentionally causing injury to Kim" with the use of "dangerous means". In Malaysia, a conviction for murder involves the mandatory death penalty by hanging.
Hương, of a Catholic family, was sentenced to three years and four months in prison by virtue of the pact, starting from the date of her arrest in February 2017. Thanks to the usual penalty reductions, she was able to leave prison today. On March 11, the Malaysian court had rejected his request to suspend the charge; a surprising decision, as the attorney general had agreed to withdraw the charges against the other defendant, the Indonesian Siti Aisyah after the diplomatic pressure in Jakarta. Vietnam has therefore intensified its lobbying to have the murder charges dropped.
The killing of Kim Jong-nam took place on February 13, 2017, at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (Klia). The two women were arrested three days after the assassination and accused of having covered Kim Jong-nam's face with a powerful nerve gas known as the Vx agent, 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 claiming to had been duped by some North Korean agents, who involved them in what they thought was a television joke.
The release of both women has sparked controversy because no other defendant is now in custody for the murder. "The killers were not brought to justice," said Hisyam. The lawyer adds that the defense of the two defendants has always maintained that the real killers are four North Korean citizens, who fled Malaysia after the murder and were accused in absentia.