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Vietnamese Suspect in Kim Jong-Nam Murder Case Is Freed

Doan Thi Huong, the Vietnamese suspect in the Kim Jong-nam assassination case who spent nearly three years in a Malaysian prison, was released this morning.

In February 2017, 30-year-old Huong and 26-year-old Indonesian Siti Aisyah were accused of killing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's estranged half-brother, Kim Jong-nam, at an airport terminal in Malaysia by smearing the toxic nerve agent VX on his face. They were charged with murder and faced the death sentence if convicted.

Both women denied the charge, and their lawyers argued that Huong and Aisyah were tricked into being involved in an assassination scheme orchestrated by four North Korean suspects who escaped.

On March 11 this year, the murder charge against Aisyah was suddenly dropped without explanation. Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh phoned Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah on the next day requesting that the court should do the same for Huong. At the time, Malaysia's attorney general refused to withdraw the charge.

On April 2, however, it was announced that Huong was likely to be freed this month after pleading guilty to a lesser charge of “causing injury.” According to Al Jazeera, this made her the only person convicted for a murder that made global headlines. Malaysian prosecutors then dropped the charges, and Huong was freed this morning after a month-long wait.

Huong has said she wants to focus on acting and singing when she returns to Vietnam.

[Photo via The Telegraph]

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