Woman accused of killing Kim Jong Nam released from prison

Siti Aisyah was released by a Malaysian court last month

Siti Aisyah was released by a Malaysian court last month

Doan Thi Huong, the Vietnamese woman initially accused of murdering Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, has penned a personal message thanking all the relevant authorities and well-wishers who have helped in securing her early release.

Hương left a women's prison in Selangor State at around 7:10am (local time) on Friday and was received by a delegation from the Vietnamese Embassy in Malaysia.

After her sentencing last month, Huong told reporters at the courtroom that she wants to "sing and act" when she returns to Vietnam.

Doan Thi Huong's release from a Malaysian prison caps the two-year case - which means it's likely no one will ever be convicted in the brazen, broad-daylight assassination of Kim Jong Nam.

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Huong was taken into immigration custody immediately after her release from a women's prison, and was believed to have been taken to immigration headquarters in the administrative capital, Putrajaya, where she will remain before boarding a flight to Hanoi.

Kim Jong Nam, the estranged relative of Kim Jong Un who was once seen as heir apparent to the North's leadership, died in agony after having his face smeared with a banned nerve agent as he waited at Kuala Lumpur airport in February 2017. Their initial request was refused, but at the start of April prosecutors offered her a reduced charge, paving the way for her release.

"I am so happy now, my whole village is happy now", Thanh told Reuters by telephone.

Doan Thi Huong from Vietnam and Indonesian Siti Aisyah were arrested after being spotted on CCTV approaching Kim but always denied murder, insisting they were tricked into carrying out the hit by North Korean agents who said it was a prank for a reality TV show and fled Malaysia after the killing. "I cried all the time", she told reporters before being whisked away in a van.

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The defence stage of the trial had been due to get under way in March before prosecutors suddenly dropped charges against Aisyah, 27, following intense diplomatic pressure from the Indonesian government.

She said the worst part of her experience in prison was the "loneliness and homesickness". "They did not treat me badly".

"She had no knowledge of the substance she was putting on Kim Jong-nam", lawyer Salim Bashir said.
Malaysian officials never officially accused North Korea and made it clear they didn't want the trial politicized.

"The planners, organizers, and overseers of the assassination of Kim Jong Nam have indeed 'gotten away with it, '" Evans Revere, formerly the acting USA assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, told CNN.

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Another three were allowed to leave the country after North Korea barred Malaysians from leaving North Korea.

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