Last remaining suspect in Kim Jong Nam murder released from prison

Kuala Lumpur - By Zubaidah Jalil - The second suspect accused of murdering the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been released from prison, leaving no further suspects facing legal action for the crime.

Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong left Kajang Women's Prison around 7:20 am Friday (2320 GMT Thursday), her defence lawyer Hisyam Teh told dpa.

"She has been released (and) will be flying off to Hanoi this evening," Teh added.

The 30-year-old, along with Indonesian national Siti Aisyah, had been accused of smearing the deadly VX nerve agent on Kim Jong Nam's face at a Kuala Lumpur airport in 2015, in a brazenly executed assassination. 
Huong had been sentenced to three years and four months in prison after pleading guilty on April 1 to "causing injury" by "employing dangerous means," after prosecutors agreed to reduce the original murder charge. 
But she was released Friday as the sentence was backdated from the time of her arrest in February 2017, and after usual sentence reductions.
The plea deal allowed Huong to escape the death penalty, which is still mandatory for murder under Malaysian law. 
Prosecutors gave Siti Aisyah, 26, a discharge not amounting to an acquittal on March 11. She has since returned to Indonesia.
The case represents a sharp turnaround for the prosecutors, who argued during the lengthy trial that the women were trained assassins who were aware of the toxicity of the substances they were handling. 
A judge had also ruled in August 2018 that there was sufficient evidence that the two women had engaged in a "well-planned conspiracy."
Both women consistently maintained their innocence, claiming that they believed they were merely taking part in a prank that was being filmed for a reality TV show and that they were tricked by North Korean handlers. 
Four North Korean suspects still remain at large after having fled Malaysia shortly after the attack. 
South Korea has accused Pyongyang of being the masterminds behind the assassination, as the victim was once considered heir-apparent to the North Korean political throne, before falling out of favour with the dynastic family. North Korea has vehemently denied the allegation. 
Huong is expected to fly back home at 4 pm Friday. 

Friday, May 3rd 2019
By Zubaidah Jalil

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