Kim Jong-Nam murder suspect loses bid for release

An emotional Doan Thi Huong is escorted by police as she leaves the Shah Alam court

An emotional Doan Thi Huong is escorted by police as she leaves the Shah Alam court Credit Vincent Thian AP

The Attorney General has the prerogative to drop charges against Siti Aisyah and continue the prosecution of Doan Thi Huong in Kim Jong-nam's murder, the Malaysian Bar said.

Huong's lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik was more blunt, telling the court the decision was "perverse".

Huong was accused along with Indonesian Siti Aisyah of killing Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of North Korea's leader, by smearing his face with VX poison at Kuala Lumpur airport.

Indonesia had mounted a sustained diplomatic offensive to get Ms Aisyah freed, while Vietnam had only stepped up pressure since the Indonesian woman's release this week. He said prosecutors were being unfair to Huong as her case was similar to Aisyah.

Prosecutor Iskandar Ahmad gave no explanation for the refusal to drop the murder charge against Doan Thi Huong, who is the only suspect in custody after the stunning decision Monday to drop the case against Indonesian Siti Aisyah.

However Huong told the media through an interpreter that she wasn't bitter Aisyah was freed and she was not.

Doan Thi Huong, 30, in bullet-proof attire, was brought to the hospital under heavy guard in a van of the Prisons Department at 9.20 am and left at 10.40 am, said her lawyer, Salim Bashir.

Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong is escorted by police as she leaves Shah Alam High Court in Shah Alam, Malaysia, on March 14, 2019.

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"We will request Malaysia to be fair and to release her as soon as possible".

Judge Azmi Ariffin adjourned court on "humanitarian grounds", saying Huong appeared "not well".

The trial is now expected to begin on April 1. Both maintained through counsel that they were made scapegoats by North Korea. The global police organization Interpol has issued red notices asking governments around the world to send them back to face trial.

North Korea has fiercely denied any involvement in the killing, but four men - believed to be North Koreans who fled Malaysia on the day of the murder - have also been charged in the case. The women claimed they had no idea they had been groomed by North Korean agents to carry out the murder and thought they were taking part in a prank TV show. "I think she must given the opportunity to be treated by a doctor". There was security camera footage of Huong.

The Vietnamese side has also mentioned the case during meetings at all levels, even the most senior levels, with the Malaysian side, she added.

"My message to the other woman workers, please don't easily trust the others".

In a separate statement on Wednesday, the government said Justice Minister Le Thanh Long had sent a letter to Malaysia's attorney-general, Tommy Thomas, asking Malaysia to free Huong. "If you want to do something, you have to understand what is that exactly", she said.

In Huong's village in Vietnam, her family was crestfallen.

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