After being detained (for the trial) in Malaysia for more than two years, on suspicion of killing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's half-brother Kim Jong-nam, Siti Aisyah finally returned home to Indonesia this evening.
But the prosecutor in the case requested the murder charge be dropped against Aisyah, without giving a reason. "It is unfair that despite the case being the same for both, that one could have been dropped without explanation, while the other is being set to continue".
She was arrested by Malaysian authorities in connection with the murder of Kim Chol, 45, at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (klia2) Departure Hall on Feb 13, 2017. "I didn't expect that today will be the day of my freedom", Aisyah said at a press conference, according to The Washington Post.
Siti thanked President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, as well as the Indonesian and Malaysian governments upon her release, adding that she was thankful for all the support she received.
The women, in their 20s, had always denied murder, saying they believed they were taking part in a prank and were tricked by North Korean agents into carrying out the Cold War-style hit using VX nerve agent.
The Indonesian foreign ministry said in a statement Aisyah was "deceived and did not realize at all that she was being manipulated by North Korean intelligence".
"Siti Aisyah is freed", judge Azmin Ariffin told the court, as he approved a request.
Prosecutor Iskandar Ahmad said the discharge not amounting to acquittal means Aisyah can be recharged but there are no such plans for now.
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Jong Nam fell out of favor with their father, former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, almost two decades ago and lived in self-imposed exile in the Chinese-controlled territory of Macau.
Indonesia's ambassador to Malaysia, Rusdi Kirana, said he was thankful to the Malaysian government.
Aisyah had spent some two years in Malaysian custody.
It was a surprise move as the Shah Alam High Court, outside Kuala Lumpur, had been due only to hear Huong's testimony on Monday.
The trial is to resume Thursday, when prosecutors are expected to reply to a request by Huong's lawyers for the government to also withdraw the charges against her. Huong remained in custody Monday and it wasn't immediately clear how the dismissal of charges against Aisyah would affect Huong's trial going forward.
Doan Thi Huong remains on trial for the murder of North Korean despot Kim Jong-un's brother Kim Jong Nam. "We believe she is not guilty", he said. Her lawyers have asked for the attorney general to review the case, and for the charge to be withdrawn on the same grounds as Aisyah's.
A Malaysian High Court judge found last August there was enough evidence to prosecute Aisyah, Huong and the four North Koreans, who fled the country, on a conspiracy to kill Kim Jong Nam.
There does not appear to have been any such aggressive lobbying effort from Vietnam for Huong, however.