Malaysian Bar Chief Asks for Explanation on Kim Murder Case

Siti Aisyah in Jakarta on March 11

Photographer: Adek Berry/AFP via Getty Images

Malaysia’s top council of lawyers asked the attorney-general to explain the release of an Indonesian suspect in the murder of

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s half-brother, but not a second suspect who is Vietnamese.

Attorney-General Tommy Thomas should explain the inconsistency, especially since the case has attracted global attention, the newly elected head of the Malaysian Bar Council, Abdul Fareed Abdul Gafoor, said in a statement. Thomas’s office didn’t answer a phone call seeking comment Sunday outside business hours.

After Kim Jong Nam was killed at the Kuala Lumpur airport in 2017, Siti Aisyah, an Indonesian, and Doan Thi Huong, a Vietnamese, were charged with murder and accused of smearing VX nerve agent onto Kim’s face, Malaysian authorities said at the time. Charges against Siti have been withdrawn, Abdul Fareed said, while Huong remains in custody, facing trial in the killing.

“There are a lot of questions on why one person is acquitted and the charges against her withdrawn while the other person remains charged,” Abdul Fareed said after the council’s annual general meeting on Saturday.


Joko Widodo with Siti Aisyah in Jakarta on March 12.

Photographer: Bay Ismoyo/AFP via Getty Images

Indonesian President Joko Widodo personally greeted Siti when she returned home after being acquitted of charges, a Twitter post by the president dated March 12 shows.

Abdul Fareed was elected to lead the bar council together with secretary Salim Bashir Bhaskaran, who is acting as a lawyer for Huong.

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