PETALING JAYA: An Indonesian woman who was given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal for the murder of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s half-brother has filed an appeal in the Court of Appeal.
Siti Aisyah’s lawyer Gooi Soon Seng said her client wanted an acquittal from the charge, a request which the trial judge had declined.
“The discharge not amounting to an acquittal is like the sword of damocles hanging over her head as technically Siti could be charged again for the same offence,” he told FMT.
Gooi said the notice of appeal was filed a day after the High Court ruling on March 11.
FMT understands that trial charge Azmi Ariffin has already prepared his written grounds and the appeal records will be sent to the Court of Appeal.
A case management has been fixed for March 28.
Meanwhile, lawyer K A Ramu said Siti’s appeal was appropriate as only an acquittal would be certain that she would not return to court to face the same charge.
“A declaration of acquittal by the court will mean the prosecution cannot frame the same charge as it will also be in violation of a fundamental right under Article 7 in the Malaysian Constitution,” he said.
Azmi freed the Indonesian woman after deputy public prosecutor Muhammad Iskandar Ahmad informed the judge they were discontinuing with the case but gave no reason.
A murder conviction carries a mandatory death penalty.
Siti had been accused alongside Doan Thi Huong from Vietnam of killing Kim Jong Nam by smearing VX nerve agent on his face at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (klia2) in 2017.
Siti, who had worked as a masseuse in Kuala Lumpur, left the country for Jakarta on the same day she was freed.
However, the 30-year-old Doan, who described herself as an entertainer, will have to enter defence on April 1, However, her lawyers have written to the attorney-general to drop the charge.
Azmi ordered the women to enter defence last August, stating there was sufficient evidence that the suspects had engaged in a “well-planned conspiracy” with four North Koreans to murder Jong Nam.
The women denied they participated in the 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.
Their lawyers had presented them as scapegoats, saying that the authorities were unable to catch the real killers.
Four North Koreans – formally accused of the murder alongside the women – fled Malaysia shortly after the murder.