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Indonesian Siti Aisyah, accused in the 2017 killing of Kim Jong-nam, and who was freed by the High Court, attends a news conference at the Indonesian embassy in Kuala Lumpur March 11, 2019.

In Kuala Lumpur, Aisyah smiled as she was ushered through a pack of journalists and into a auto outside the court, where she had been on trial alongside a Vietnamese woman for the murder of Kim Jong Nam at Kuala Lumpur airport in February 2017.

Prosecutors withdrew the charge against Siti Aisyah without giving a reason, and she was discharged without an acquittal.

Malaysian prosecutors unexpectedly dropped the murder charge on Monday.

Mr Kim, the estranged half-brother of Kim Jong-un, had been waiting to board a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Macau on 13 February 2017 when two women approached him in the departure area.

The defense had disputed whether the CCTV footage was clear enough to identify the Indonesian woman as an assailant, or establish what she had done to the victim.

Indonesian Ambassador Rusdi Kirana thanked the Malaysian government for Aisyah's release and said: "We believe she is not guilty".

Lawyers for the two women have claimed the pair were duped by a team of North Korean agents, who tricked them into thinking they were taking part in a reality TV show.

Reeling from the news, Siti Aisyah's aunt geared up for a party to welcome back her 27-year-old niece, a year and a half after she went on trial in Malaysia with the death penalty hanging over her head.

"Siti Aisyah is freed", judge Azmin Ariffin told the court, as he approved a request.

Thomas wrote in a letter to Indonesia's minister of law and human rights that prosecutors chose to drop Aisyah's charges and release her "taking into account the good relations" between Malaysia and Indonesia.

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Kim Jong-nam, the eldest son of late dictator Kim Jong-il, had challenged his half-brother's succession to the top post.

"We are hoping against hope that the charges against her will be dropped", said Teh Poh Teik, Huong's lawyer.

Interpol had issued a red notice for four North Koreans who were identified as suspects by Malaysian police and had left the country hours after the murder.

The pair has been on trial since October 2017 but proceedings have been hit by repeated delays, and Aisyah's defense - which was originally due to start a year ago - was on hold due to a row over witness statements before the surprise decision to free her on Monday.

An emotional Aisyah was quickly ushered out of the courtroom and into a waiting auto.

Aisyah returned to Jakarta, Indonesia's capital, later on Monday. "I am innocent - please pray for me", she said. Kim Jong Un was viewed by many at the time as a calculating and ruthless leader shrouded in mystery.

After Aisyah's release, Huong's lawyer said that events were unfair.

"However, I will only allow until Thursday", he said, adding that if her request is rejected, the trial will continue.

Lawyers for the women has said they were pawns in a political assassination in which the North Korean Embassy in Kuala Lumpur was involved.

In the northern Vietnamese province of Nam Dinh, her father Doan Van Thanh expressed shock his daughter was still behind bars and called for her release. This means Aisyah has not been formally cleared of the charge and could in theory be arrested on suspicion of Kim's murder again.


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