Suspect in Kim Jong Nam assassination freed after charges dropped

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Aisyah hugged her co-defendant, Doan Thi Huong of Vietnam, before leaving the courtroom.

Siti Aisyah smiled as she was ushered into a auto outside the court, where she had been on trial for a year and a half alongside a Vietnamese woman for the 2017 murder of Kim Jong Nam at Kuala Lumpur airport. The charge was "vague" and the prosecution "has failed to make out a prima facie case against the accused (Aisyah)", he said.

From the outset of the case, there were suspicions that Kim Jong Nam was the victim of plot arranged by North Korean agents who left Malaysia in the hours after the killing, and the two women had been merely pawns in a political assassination.

Siti Aisyah, from Serang, Banten, looked cheerful and thanked all parties involved in her release.

Indonesia's government said its continual high-level lobbying resulted in Ms Aisyah's release.

It said Ms Aisyah, a migrant worker, believed that she was part of a reality TV show and never had any intention of killing Kim.

Aisyah's lawyer Gooi Soon Seng said he was grateful for the decision: "We still truly believe that she is merely a scapegoat and she's innocent".

The judge's decision came after prosecutors said they wanted to withdraw the charge. "She can leave now", he said. "This is my day of freedom".

"I am very happy, I never expected that today I will be freed", she said at a press conference with representatives of the Indonesian government in Kuala Lumpur on Monday, which was aired live by Kompas TV. They were the only suspects in custody after four North Korean suspects fled the country on the morning Kim was killed.

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Si on en est où l'on en est au classement, c'est qu'on a eu pas mal la réussite, mais aussi qu'on a pratiqué du bon jeu. Malang Sarr a tenu à le rappeler: "Les supporters Marseillais ont pu se déplacer, les nôtres non".

Indonesia Ambassador Rusdi Kirana expressed gratidude for the decision.

Aisyah, surrounded by government officials and a mob of reporters at Jakarta's arport, struggled for words as journalists shouted questions. The foreign ministry said that Siti's future was discussed in "every bilateral Indonesia-Malaysia meeting".

Siti Aisyah smiles as she leaves the Shah Alam Court, on March 11, 2019.

Huong's case did not appear to be publicly discussed during Kim Jong Un's recent visit to Hanoi, when he met US President Donald Trump and Vietnam's leaders.

The trial of two Southeast Asian women charged with murdering Kim Jong Nam, North Korean leader's half brother, resumed Monday after months of delay, with the Vietnamese suspect taking the stand to begin her defense.

Huong's lawyer said she was "traumatized" that only Aisyah had been released, and the court agreed to adjourn the Vietnamese suspect's testimony to allow her legal team to apply for her murder charge to be dropped. "We are making representation to the attorney general for Doan to be taken equally ... there must be justice".

Last year, the prosecution made a motion to throw out the case; at the time, the judge ruled that both Siti and Duon should testify, not ruling out that the entire incident could have been a conspiracy between the women and their North Korean counterparts to assassinate the leader's older brother.

It's unclear why Kim Jong Nam was killed, but analysts said Kim Jong Un may have seen him as a potential threat.