AG's discretion to withdraw murder charge against Indonesian in Kim Jong-nam case


KUALA LUMPUR: It is the sole discretion of the Attorney General (AG) to withdraw the murder charge against Indonesian Siti Aisyah who was charged in the death of Kim Jong-nam, the half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong said under the Federal Constitution, the AG, who is also the Public Prosecutor, had the discretion to proceed or to discontinue with any criminal cases.

"The AG can exercise this power even during trial.

"The government cannot interfere with the AG's power," he told reporters at the Parliament lobby on Wednesday (March 13).

He cited the case involving Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, where ongoing case was dropped by the AG.

He said the AG would usually exercise his power after taking into consideration all relevant circumstances.

When asked if he was aware of what had transpired with regard to the Indonesian Embassy's effort to lobby for Siti's release, he said no.

Siti and 30-year-old Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong were accused of smearing VX nerve agent on the face of Jong-nam, at KLIA2 on Feb 13, 2017.

The Indonesian government claimed that it was its continual high-level lobbying that resulted in the release of the Indonesian woman.

The foreign ministry said in a statement on Monday (March 11) that Siti was "deceived and did not realise at all that she was being manipulated by North Korean intelligence."

It said Aisyah, a migrant worker, believed she was part of a reality TV show and never had any intention of killing Jong-nam.

It said Aisyah's plight was raised in "every bilateral Indonesia-Malaysia meeting, both at the president's level, the vice-president and regular meetings of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and other ministers with their Malaysian partners".

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