Final suspect escapes death penalty | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 02, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:17 AM, April 02, 2019


Final suspect escapes death penalty

A Vietnamese woman accused of assassinating the North Korean leader's half-brother is to walk free after Malaysia dropped murder charges against her yesterday, weeks after her Indonesian co-accused was also released.

The 2017 killing of Kim Jong Nam with a toxic nerve agent at Kuala Lumpur's international airport shocked the world, but Doan Thi Huong's guilty plea to the lesser charge of "causing injury" makes her the only person convicted in the case.

Malaysia allowed the two women's suspected North Korean handlers to leave in the days after the murder, amid a furious diplomatic row as Seoul accused Pyongyang of plotting the Cold War-style hit.

The pair, who claimed they were tricked into carrying out the killing, were put on trial facing a murder charge.

But last month the charge against Indonesian suspect Siti Aisyah was dropped and yesterday, prosecutors withdrew the charge against the second accused, Doan Thi Huong from Vietnam, and replaced it with a lesser one.

She pleaded guilty to "causing injury" and was handed a three year and four month jail term, with her lawyers saying she would be freed next month due to sentence reductions. The women would have been sentenced to death by hanging if convicted of murder.

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