Malaysia court frees woman in murder of N. Korean leader’s brother

Indonesian Woman Charged with Murder of Kim Jong-un’s Brother Is Suddenly Released		MOHD RASFAN  AFP  Getty11 Mar 2019

Indonesian Woman Charged with Murder of Kim Jong-un’s Brother Is Suddenly Released MOHD RASFAN AFP Getty11 Mar 2019

An Indonesian woman accused of killing the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is free after Malaysian prosecutors dropped charges against her Monday.

Indonesian national Siti Aisyah (C) smiles while leaving the Shah Alam High Court, outside Kuala Lumpur on March 11, 2019 after her trial for her alleged role in the assassination of Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The foreign ministry said in a statement Monday that Siti Aisyah was "deceived and did not realize at all that she was being manipulated by North Korean intelligence".

Ms Siti was released from jail after the Malaysian judge granted her a discharge not amounting to an acquittal. They did not give any reason.

Two women appeared to spread poison on Kim Jong Nam's face while he was walking through the Kuala Lumpur airport in early 2017.

The two young women were accused of smearing VX nerve agent on his face.

Indonesia's government said its continual high-level lobbying resulted in Ms Aisyah's release. With a prompt from Indonesia's law and human rights minister, she thanked the president and other officials for helping secure her release.

The letter repeated numerous arguments made by her defense attorneys.

Aisyah had spent some two years in Malaysian custody.

Malaysian Attorney General Tommy Thomas responded with his own letter Friday, announcing that the prosecution would effectively drop the case.

"Why did they release the Indonesian girl without releasing my daughter?" he told AFP.

North Korea has fiercely denied any involvement in the killing, but four men - believed to be North Koreans who fled Malaysia on the day of the killing - have also been charged in the case.

In August, a judge ruled there was sufficient evidence the suspects had engaged in a "well-planned conspiracy" with the North Koreans to murder Kim, and ordered that the trial continue to the defense stage.

He was the eldest son of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, and had lived overseas since 2003.

Indonesian Siti Aisyah (C) who was detained in connection with the death of Kim Jong-Nam, is escorted by Malaysian police officers at the Shah Alam High Court.

But Huong ended up only reading the first three lines of her prepared testimony in a tearful and stuttering tone.

Siti's lawyer Gooi Soon Seng said the woman was grateful that she'd been freed. "She was in no position to testify".

"I finished my job.

I did not expect it", a visibly elated Aisyah told reporters as she was ushered into a auto outside the court. "I didn't expect it".

Aisyah is expected to return home later Monday on the ambassador's private jet. The foreign ministry said that Siti's future was discussed in "every bilateral Indonesia-Malaysia meeting".

"They should bring her here straight away because she's not guilty".

"We truly believe she's a scapegoat and she is innocent as we laid out [before]", he said.

"She is entitled to the same kind of consideration as Aisyah", he said.

Kim Jong Nam's murder triggered a heated three-week diplomatic row between Malaysia and North Korea, further isolating Pyongyang.

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