2nd LD Writethru: Request to drop charge against Vietnamese defendant in DPRK man's murder case rejected

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SHAH ALAM, Malaysia/HANOI, March 14 (Xinhua) -- The Malaysian attorney-general on Thursday rejected the request to drop the charge against Doan Thi Huong, a Vietnamese woman, for the death of a man from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) at a Malaysian airport in 2017.

Huong's counsel Hisyam Teh Poh Teik told the court that he was disappointed by the decision of the attorney-general. The lawyer described the decision as unfair and biased, as the two women had faced the same charges.

The judge granted a postponement of the case until April 1.

Teh said this was for Huong to receive medical treatment as she was distressed since Monday.

The request to drop the murder charge against Huong came after Malaysian prosecutors withdrew the murder charge against Siti Aisyah, an Indonesia woman who was charged together with Huong in the case.

Aisyah was released on Monday.

On Tuesday, Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh called his Malaysian counterpart and asked for Huong's release as well, according to Vietnamese media.

On Wednesday, Vietnamese Minister of Justice Le Thanh Long sent a letter about the case to the Malaysian attorney-general.

A Vietnamese foreign ministry spokesperson said Thursday that during contacts with the Malaysian side, including high-level ones, Vietnam has stated that the Malaysian side should ensure a "fair and objective trial and release" of Huong.

"We think that the Malaysian side understands concerns of the Vietnamese officials and public opinion," spokeswoman of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang told reporters.

"We much regret that the Malaysian court did not release Doan Thi Huong immediately," the spokeswoman said.

Also on Thursday, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung met with the Malaysian ambassador to Vietnam to discuss the case of Huong, she said. Enditem

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