Indonesian woman accused of killing Kim Jong Un's half-brother released, charges dropped

Indonesian national Siti Aisyah is escorted by Malaysian police after a special court session to rule on witness statements at the Shah Alam High Court outside Kuala Lumpur

Indonesian woman accused of killing Kim Jong Un's half-brother released, charges dropped

Indonesian Siti Aisyah, accused in the 2017 killing of Kim Jong-nam, and who was freed by the High Court, attends a news conference at the Indonesian embassy in Kuala Lumpur March 11, 2019.

Siti Aisyah, an Indonesian woman who was freed after two years in custody on suspicion of murdering Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, expressed her happiness after being released on Monday.

The judge discharged Siti Aisyah after prosecutors said they wanted to withdraw the charge.

Huong's lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik said Huong felt Aisyah's discharge was unfair to her as the judge a year ago had found sufficient evidence to continue the murder trial against them.

The two women had been the only suspects in custody after four North Korean suspects fled the country the morning of February 13, 2017, when Kim's half brother, Kim Jong Nam, was killed in an airport terminal in Kuala Lumpur.

Aisyah thanked Widodo and his government for helping secure her release.

Indonesia's government said its continual high-level lobbying resulted in Aisyah's release.

While some reports state that due to this surprise development, Doan's trial has been put on hold, others state that her trial will take place this Thursday (14th March).

"We are grateful the public prosecutor has come to this conclusion, because we truly believe she is merely a scapegoat and she is innocent", he said.

Siti Aisyah, who had worked as a masseuse at a hotel in the Malaysian capital, and Huong, who described herself as an actress, had maintained that they believed they had been hired to participate in a reality TV prank show.

The judge agreed to a discharge not amounting to an acquittal, and ordered Aisyah's immediate release.

"I finished my job", she said. "I didn't expect that today will be my freedom day".

"After studying the case thoroughly, we sent letters to the Attorney-General of Malaysia and met with him and Prime Minister Mahathir last August", Laoly told reporters with Siti Aisyah shortly after landing in Jakarta.

Aisyah is expected to return home to Indonesia Monday evening, as officials make preparations for her departure.

During the hearings in June 2018, Aisyah's lawyer Gooi Soon Seng, in his final submission, told the court that "the investigation was not only shoddy but was lopsided". She told reporters she had only learned that morning that she would be freed. "She's our daughter. Every Indonesian is our children", Rusdi said.

"She is entitled to the same kind of consideration as Aisyah", he said. Vietnam has pushed less hard, and recently hosted Kim Jong Un for an official visit and a summit with President Donald Trump. Intent to kill is crucial to a murder charge under Malaysian law.

"We want Doan to be treated equally".

Last year, the prosecution made a motion to throw out the case; at the time, the judge ruled that both Siti and Duon should testify, not ruling out that the entire incident could have been a conspiracy between the women and their North Korean counterparts to assassinate the leader's older brother.

Kim was once seen as a future leader of the isolated country, but when his father Kim Jong-il died, was bypassed in favour of the younger Kim Jong-un.

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