Kim Jong-nam killing: Woman escapes hungman’s noose albait deceaved into fake TV prank

Hiiraan Xog, For 26-year-old Siti Aisyah from Indonesia, 13th February 2017 will be forever seared in her mind.

This day Aisyah and her co-accused Vietnamese, Doan Thi Huong, 30 felt into a trap set by secret agents from North Korea.

The two were duped into the killing of Kim Jong Nam—the estranged brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un by being told they were participating in a harmless prank for a hidden-camera TV show.

But the fact was that the women were used as bait to assassinate Kim Jong Nam and they smeared a nerve agent on his faces.

According to Indonesian police, the two Southeast Asian women were accused of smearing VX nerve agent on Kim Jong Nam’s face in a crowded airport terminal in Kuala Lumpur on a fateful day.

VX nerve agent, a highly toxic and rapidly acting chemical warfare agent developed in the UK in the 1950s.

Following thorugh investigation, Indonesian chemist testified he found traces of the banned VX nerve agent on the two women.

However, Aisyah, then 25 said she was paid to be involved in farcical pranks where she and another woman (Doan Thi Huong then 29) allegedly convinced men to close their eyes and then sprayed the participants with water.

According to the prosecution, “Such an action was done three or four times and they were given a few dollars for it, and with the last target, Kim Jong Nam, allegedly there were dangerous materials in the sprayer,”

Both ladies admitted carrying out the process but said they not aware that it was an assassination attempt by alleged foreign agents.

The two were arrested in February last year and subsequently charged with murder which carries the death penalty if convicted.

After more than one year in remand, Aisyah was freed after the prosecutor withdrew the murder charge.

The court did not give reasons for its surprise decision on Monday to drop the murder case.

As reported by Reuters, Ms. Aisyah turned to her co-defendant, Doan Thi Huong, , in the dock and embraced in tears.

Ms. Aisyah said she was “shocked” when she learned of her release.

“I never [thought] that I was being entangled to such an extent,” Ms Aisyah told BBC Indonesian a day after her release.

Following her release, the foreign ministry issued a statement saying she had been “deceived and did not realise at all that she was being manipulated by North Korean intelligence”.

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

Ms. Aisyah’s defendant Ms Huong told reporters through a translator after Ms Aisyah left that “I am in shock. My mind is blank.”

Ms Houng’s lawyer said he would seek to postpone her trial and that ending the case against Ms Aisyah was unfair.

Kim Jong-nam was the eldest son in the current generation of North Korea’s ruling family.

Pyongyang has denied accusations by South Korean and US officials that Kim Jong-un’s regime was behind the killing.

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