Vietnam to continue to fight for Doan’s freedom

  • Nation
  • Friday, 15 Mar 2019

SHAH ALAM: Vietnam will strive for the release of Doan Thi Huong, who is now the sole accused on trial for the murder of North Korean Kim Chol, after the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) rejected a letter of representation by Doan to have the murder charge dropped.

Doan’s counsel Salim Bashir said they would send a second letter of representation to the AGC soon.

On Monday, the High Court granted Siti Aisyah a discharge not amounting to an acquittal after the prosecution said it was instructed to withdraw the case against her.

During the trial yesterday, the High Court was informed that the AGC had rejected Doan’s letter of representation for the murder charge against her be dropped. It was sent after Siti Aisyah was released.

Salim’s co-counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik described the rejection as “perverse” and did not speak well of the country’s criminal justice system.

“It is very obvious that the Attorney General has favoured one party to the other bearing in mind that this court has found prima facie case against both of the accused,” he said.

Hisyam said the prosecution had not acted fairly as both accused persons had the same defence.

“Both have stated that they were doing video pranks. Both maintained they were made scapegoats by North Korea,” he added.

Siti Aisyah, 27, and Doan, were charged with four others still at large for the murder of Kim Chol, or Kim Jong-nam, at the KLIA2 departure hall at 9am on Feb 13, 2017.

Unable to testify: Doan being taken away after the trial was adjourned.

The trial yesterday also hit a snag because Doan was unable to testify.

Hisyam told the court Doan had only slept an hour each night since Siti Aisyah’s release.

“We are now at a crucial part of the defence case where she will testify.

“I ask my Lord to show her mercy and compassion and to give her some space,” he said.

Justice Azmi Ariffin then asked the accused directly if she was facing any problems.

The 30-year-old answered, through an interpreter: “I am very tensed and stressed.”

DPP Muhamad Iskandar Ahmad said: “Looking at the condition the accused is in today, she is in no shape to testify.

“We do not have any objection to the postponement.”

“I’ve to say this. I wish to carry on with this case but unfortunately from my observation, looking at her, she is not well. Mentally and physically.

“She must be given the opportunity to be attended to by a doctor,” he said.

Justice Azmi then adjourned the hearing to April 1.

The court yesterday also allowed an application by the defence for a witness in the case to testify via video conference.

Justice Azmi also agreed with the defence that the media should not publish details on the witness to protect the identity, including the place where the conference would take place.

After the proceeding was adjourned, Doan was seen talking to representatives from the Vietnamese Embassy.

Doan, who appeared pale and tired, cried several times during the conversation before the police took her away.

She is facing the death penalty if found guilty.

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