Published: Sat, August 18, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Vietnam suspect's dad sad she wasn't acquitted

Vietnam suspect's dad sad she wasn't acquitted

The High Court will decide tomorrow whether two women, Indonesian Siti Aisyah and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, should be freed or be allowed to defend themselves.

They are the only two suspects in custody and face the death penalty if convicted.

Judge Azmi Ariffin ruled Thursday at the Shah Alam High Court outside the capital of Kuala Lumpur that the prosecution had presented enough evidence for the case against Siti Aisyah and Doan Thi Huong to move forward. Aisyah, who will be the first to take the stand when the trial resumes November 1, later cried and was consoled by her lawyers and Indonesian officials.

In his ruling, the judge said that the footage "showed that they had the knowledge that the liquid on their hands was toxic". "The court wants to hear their version".

Ms Huong "could never be a killer as she had always been a charming, hard-working girl", Doan Van Thanh, the Vietnamese suspect's father, told AFP at his home south of Hanoi.

The hearings last a few months. The incident took place at the Kuala Lumpur airport on February 13 past year. They also show Huong appearing to smear something on Kim Jong-nam's face.

Kim Jong-nam (L) had spoken out publicly against his family's dynastic control of North Korea; Kim Jong-un had reportedly issued a "standing order" for his half-brother's assassination in 2012.

He said he "cannot rule out that this could be a political assassination" but found no concrete evidence of one. All four fled the country the same morning Kim was killed.

They are in their 20s and both have pleaded not guilty, saying they thought they were involved in a prank for a reality TV show.

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Prosecutors described the murder as a scene coming from a Serie Noire movie, the likes of James Bond.

The real culprits, the defence argues, are the four North Korean suspects.

Their families insist they did not carry out the Cold War-style killing that shocked the world, and are hopeful they will be acquitted, although state prosecutors believe they have a strong case.

"We will extensively use her cautioned statement, which the court said has credibility", he said, referring to Doan's statement given to police on Feb 15 a year ago.

Some experts believe that letting the killing go unpunished by failing to secure a conviction could tarnish Malaysia's reputation. The prosecution also maintained the argument that the pair were trained to commit the crime.

Pyongyang hasn't cooperated with the investigation and has ignored Interpol notices to detain the four accused suspects.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been invited to take part in the 2018 Eastern Economic Forum in the Russian city of Vladivostok, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.

Kim Jong-nam was only referred to as "a citizen of the DPRK" by North Korean officials.

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