Indonesian suspect in Kim Jong Nam murder case arrives in Jakarta after Malaysian court frees her

Indonesian national Siti Aisyah smiles while leaving the Shah Alam High Court, outside Kuala Lumpur on March 11, 2019.
Indonesian national Siti Aisyah smiles while leaving the Shah Alam High Court, outside Kuala Lumpur on March 11, 2019.PHOTO: AFP

JAKARTA - The Indonesian suspect in the Kim Jong Nam murder, Ms Siti Aisyah, returned home on Monday (March 11) afternoon, just hours after Malaysian prosecutors, in a shock move in court, requested that the murder charge against her be withdrawn and that she be given a discharge.

Ms Siti was released from jail after the Malaysian judge granted her a discharge not amounting to an acquittal.

Ms Siti, accompanied by Indonesia's Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly, arrived at Jakarta's Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport at around 5.30pm.

National Police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo said that her freedom was secured through "cooperation with Malaysia's government" with which Indonesia has close bilateral ties.

Malaysia's attorney-general issued an order not to prosecute Ms Siti last Friday (March 8), according to a letter revealed by the Indonesian embassy in Kuala Lumpur on Monday.

The decision was taken on the grounds of the good relations between both countries.

Ms Siti, 26, was arrested along with a Vietnamese woman, Doan Thi Huong, 30, and charged with the murder of Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un in Kuala Lumpur airport in February 2017. Both women were accused of smearing the toxic nerve agent VX on his face as he waited to board a flight to Macau. He died within 20 minutes.

 
 

The two women denied the charge, claiming that they they were tricked by North Korean agents into believing that they were taking part in a prank for a reality show.

Doan's murder trial was suspended following Monday's surprise turn of events.

Ms Siti has told a press conference that she was very happy with the court's decision, adding that the first thing she wanted to do was "to see my family".

Her family, who lives in Pandeglang, in Banten province, also welcomed her release, with an aunt saying that she was "relieved".

"Our big family is grateful because we are confident Siti is not a murderer," Ms Darsinah, was quoted as saying by Detik news. She added that Ms Siti was known as a good person in her family.

Mr Wahyu Susilo, the executive director of non-governmental organisation Migrant CARE, also welcomed her release, adding that the Indonesian government must now help to restore Ms Siti's good name.