Ramkarpal blasts AG for freeing Indonesian but not Vietnamese in Jong-nam case

Lawyer Ramkarpal Singh speaks to reporters at the Shah Alam High Court January 22, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Lawyer Ramkarpal Singh speaks to reporters at the Shah Alam High Court January 22, 2019. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, March 14 — Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh criticised as “mind-boggling” the attorney general’s decision to maintain charges against one suspect after freeing another in the case of Kim Jong-nam’s murder.

Responding to news about the AG’s rejection of the application from Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong’s lawyers for a withdrawal, the DAP national legal bureau chairman said it raised questions about the AG’s absolute power to decide prosecutions in the country.

He said the move to release Indonesian Siti Aisyah but not Doan was perplexing as they were jointly accused and especially after the court ruled that there was prima facie to proceed with the prosecution.

“No doubt, the AG has the power to discontinue proceedings against Siti Aisyah the way he did but why did he not do the same in the case of Doan?” he said in a statement.

“Both Doan and Siti Aisyah were charged together. Doan has a constitutional right to be treated the way Siti Aisyah was as she is entitled to equal protection of the law.”

He also criticised the AG for refusing to give his reasons for the different treatment of the two women.

Ramkarpal then urged the AG to reconsider, saying to continue with Doan’s prosecution now would be “unprecedented and regrettable.”

Doan and Siti Aisyah were charged with killing Jong-nam, the elder brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, using liquid VX at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in February 2017.

The court ordered Indonesian Siti Aisyah and Doan to enter their defence on the murder charge on August 16, 2018.

Both women have consistently denied the murder, claiming that they were tricked by North Korean spies into carrying out the killing and believed it was a prank for a reality TV show.

However, Siti was granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal after prosecutors told the court that they had been instructed by the AG to withdraw the charge on Monday.