Published: Tue, March 12, 2019
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Indonesian woman freed after murder charge dropped in Kim killing

Indonesian woman freed after murder charge dropped in Kim killing

The ministry said that during the past two years, Aisyah's plight was raised in "every bilateral Indonesia-Malaysia meeting", including at the presidential level, the vice presidential level and in regular meetings of the foreign minister and other ministers with their Malaysian counterparts.

Siti Aisyah cried and hugged her Vietnamese co-defendant, Doan Thi Huong, before leaving the courtroom and being ushered away in an Indonesian Embassy vehicle.

While the court discharged Siti Aisyah from the case, it rejected her lawyer's request for a full acquittal, as it said that the trial had already established a prima facie case and she could be recalled if fresh evidence emerged. He granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal. "I am innocent - please pray for me", the 30-year-old said.

Aisyah's lawyer Gooi Soon Seng said she should be acquitted as the prosecution case against her has closed.

Indonesian national Siti Aisyah (R) is escorted by Malaysia police during a court appearance with Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong (not pictured) at the Shah Alam High Court in Shah Alam, outside Kuala Lumpur on 22 January 2018. "We are pleased with the court decision".

Siti headed back to the Indonesian Embassy, and plans to fly home to Indonesia tonight, embassy officials said.

But the court agreed to resume proceedings on Thursday instead, pending a reply from the attorney-general to the request that charges against her also be withdrawn.

Monday was the first time Huong and Aisyah had spoken publicly in the more than two years they spent behind bars.

Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong foreground is escorted by police as she arrives at Shah Alam High Court in Shah Alam Malaysia Monday
Malaysia: Kim Jong Nam murder suspect freed by court

Siti Aisyah smiled as she was ushered into a auto outside the court, where she had been on trial for a year and a half alongside a Vietnamese woman for the 2017 murder of Kim Jong Nam at Kuala Lumpur airport. VX is considered a weapon of mass destruction used for chemical warfare. The Indonesian woman arrested in the murder, Siti Aisyah, told investigators she thought she was just participating in a TV show prank.

The lawyers say the women were victims of a complex plot by a group of DPRK agents.

Ms Aisyah could have faced the death penalty if convicted.

Prosecutors had previously argued that the duo were trained assassins who were aware of the toxicity of the substance they were handling, pointing to how both suspects headed to separate bathrooms immediately after the attack. She was to have begun giving her defence in Monday's court session, after months of delay. "We have seen that the Indonesian government has been proactively providing legal assistance and diplomatic efforts", Wahyu Susilo, executive director of Migrant CARE, said in a statement. "Huong had no. intention to commit murder".

Spotted smiling as she exited the court today, Siti Aisyah told reporters that she was surprised but very happy by the outcome.

Aisyah arrived later Monday in Jakarta, where she was reunited with parents.

Prosecutors have given no reason for suddenly dropping the charges against her.

"I had already surrendered myself to God", she told Indonesia's Kompas TV in an interview from the Malaysian capital.

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