Release of suspect in Kim murder right call: Malaysia

By Riyaz ul Khaliq

ANKARA (AA) – Malaysia's prime minister on Tuesday defended the release of an Indonesian woman accused of killing North Korean leader's half-brother after prosecutors dropped charges against her.

“There is a law that allows charges to be withdrawn. That was what happened, ” Press Trust of India (PTI) quoted Mahathir Mohamad as telling reporters in Kuala Lumpur.

The 27-year-old Indonesian woman, Siti Aisyah, has been behind bars for two years on charges of poisoning Kim Jong-Nam at Kuala Lumpur's airport on Feb. 13, 2017, with the toxic nerve agent VX, an internationally-prohibited chemical weapon.

Mahathir said that he was “unaware of any negotiations ” between Indonesia and Malaysia on the issue, rejecting allegations that the two countries have been bargaining for the Siti's release.

PTI reported Indonesian officials released Monday a letter sent by the country's justice minister to the Malaysian attorney-general, which reportedly sought her release, saying she had been “deceived “.

The other suspect in the murder case, Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong (30), remained in prison and she is expected to appear in court on Thursday.

Siti and Huong were arrested after security cameras in the airport showed the two women smearing the toxic agent on Kim's face.

In her defense, Siti said that some people — who she thinks were Korean or Japanese — paid $90 for a “prank ” to be aired in a TV show.

Unlike Huong, forensic investigators found no trace of the toxic chemical in Siti's fingernails and she showed no poisoning symptoms.