Malaysia reduces charge against Vietnamese suspect in airport murder

Malaysia reduces charge against Vietnamese suspect in airport murder
# 01 April 2019 09:53 (UTC +04:00)

A Malaysian judge on Monday sentenced a Vietnamese woman accused of killing the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to more than three years in prison for causing harm, after prosecutors dropped a murder charge against her, ONA reports citing Reuters.

Doan Thi Huong, who has already served two years in jail, could be released as early as next month in accordance with Malaysian law, her lawyers said.

Huong, 30, and an Indonesian woman, Siti Aisyah, were charged with killing Kim Jong Nam by smearing his face with VX poison, a lethal chemical weapon, at Kuala Lumpur’s main airport in February 2017.

Prosecutors on Monday offered Huong an alternative charge of ‘causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means’. The reduced charge was offered after receiving representations from the Vietnamese embassy and the woman’s lawyers, they said.

Huong pleaded guilty to the alternative charge, which carries a jail term of up to ten years, a financial penalty or whipping. She would have faced a mandatory death penalty if found guilty of murder.

Judge Azmi Ariffin sentenced Huong to three years and four months in prison for the reduced charged of causing harm.

The judge told Huong she was “a very, very lucky person indeed” that the prosecutors offered her the alternative charge.

Wearing a red baju kurung, a traditional Malay dress, with a headscarf, Huong stood and nodded as the judge delivered the sentencing. Vietnamese officials in court broke into applause after the ruling.