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Woman accused of murdering Kim Jong's half brother offered complaint agreement



Monday, Malaysian prosecutors offered to reduce the murder charge against Doan Thi Huong, the only suspect still behind the pillars, after she was recently charged last month.

Huong, 30, smiled in court after hearing that prosecutors would offer to drop the murder charge and replace it with the lesser charge.

The judge sentenced Huong to three years and four months to be served from the start of the arrest in February 2017. But Huong's lawyer said he expected her to be released as early as May this year, as sentences in Malaysia automatically reduced by 30%.

Huong was one of two women accused of killing Kim Jong Nam, February 2017, a criminal offense that could be punished by hanging.

Last month, the Malaysian prosecutors rejected an appeal to drop the case against Huong and did not reveal why they had been charged, Indonesian citizen Siti Aisyah, for free while holding Huong in jail.

Murder of Kim

Huong, Aisyah and the four North Koreans were accused of exposing Kim to the VX Nerve Agent when he entered an airport in Kuala Lumpur on the outskirts of the Malaysian capital and killed him in minutes.

Prosecutors claimed that Huong and Aisyah dried Kim's face with the chemical before they washed. The North Koreans then left the country immediately.

Lawyers for the two women argued that they were doubled by the North Korean agents who fooled them into believing they were participating in a reality TV show.

The Malaysian authorities disagreed. During the police investigation and most of the trial, the police and the prosecutors were adamant that both women knew what they were doing.

On Monday, Huong's lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik said his team had filed an application asking the Advocate General to reconsider the charge against Huong.

"This was accepted by the lawyer and that is what we see tomorrow," Teh told the court. "To that we thank the Advocate General."

While appealing to a soothing sentence, Teh said his client came from a "humble background".

"The accused is the youngest in the family," he said. "The accused at the same time is also naive, and she was exploited … The accused has endured enough."

When asked outside court, if justice had been earned, Teh replied: "Not until the four North Koreans are brought."

Prosecutor Muhammad Iskandar Ahmad said that the CCTV recording of the alleged murder was clear. "She just went away," he said. "We can see the accused's behavior."

Judge Azmi Ariffin told Huong that she was a "very lucky person". The new charge also carries a possible penalty for whipping, but he noted that she was exempted since women could not be whipped under the Malaysian Penal Code.

Ariffin stated that she could still be dismissed and acquitted of the crime if her lawyers were in doubt.

The Vietnamese ambassador to Malaysia, Le Quy Quynh, was present in court along with a large Vietnamese embassy association. Huong's father ̵

1; a Vietnam war veteran – was also in court.

Other suspects

There are still four North Koreans who have been accused in absence with the murder. All four fled Malaysia to an unknown destination shortly after the murder, and the international police organization Interpol has released red messages asking governments around the world to send them back to face.

Analysts said whether North Korea was behind the killing, Kim Jong Un may have seen his older half brother as a potential leadership threat – even though their father, former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, had long discounted Kim Jong Nam as a possible successor.

Kim Jong Nam fell out of favor two decades ago and lived in self-imposed exile in the Chinese controlled area Macau.

North Korea has consistently denied involvement in the killing, even though US, South Korean and Malaysian authorities have said Pyongyang was responsible.

CNN's Julia Hollingsworth and Josh Berlinger reported and wrote from Hong Kong while Hadi Azmi reported from Shah Alam in Malaysia.


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