An Indonesian woman accused of assassinating North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s half-brother was freed on Monday after Malaysian prosecutors dropped a murder charge against her, in a shock decision that delighted her friends and family.
Siti Aisyah smiled as she was ushered into a car 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. “I feel happy. I did not know this will happen. I did not expect it,” said the 27-year-old, who earlier hugged her tearful Vietnamese co-accused, Doan Thi Huong, in the dock when the news was announced. Indonesian officials mounted a major diplomatic effort to free Ms. Aisyah, which included pressure from the President. The Indonesian Justice Minister had written to Malaysia’s Attorney-General seeking her release, citing problems with the case, and he agreed last week.
The women had always denied murder, saying they were tricked by North Korean spies into carrying out the Cold War-style hit using VX nerve agent, and believed it was a prank for a reality TV show.