Kim Jong-nam murder trial: Second accused to be freed

Apr 01, 2019, 2:25 AM EDT
(Source: austin daniels/flickr)
(Source: austin daniels/flickr)

A Vietnamese woman, accused of assassinating North Korean leader’s half-brother Kim Jong-nam, could be released in May after she pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of “causing hurt by a dangerous weapon” as part of a plea bargain.

Doan Thi Huong has been sentenced to three years and four months in prison by a Malaysian court after the prosecutors dropped murder charges against her, notes The Guardian. The verdict comes just days after Siti Aisyah, an Indonesian co-accused in Kim’s murder, was freed in a surprising turn of events, courtesy some diplomatic interventions behind the scenes.

Since the beginning of the trial both the accused have maintained their innocence, insisting that they were set up to smear a toxic nerve agent on Kim’s face, and thought they were part of a reality TV prank.

The verdict is a “face-saving way out of an embarrassing murder trial” for Malaysia, but it also puts an end to the possibility of nailing down the actual perpetrators of a sensational murder, writes the BBC.