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Charges Dropped Against Woman Accused of Killing Kim Jong-un’s Brother

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — An Indonesian woman who was on trial in the 2017 airport killing of Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half brother of the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, was freed on Monday after more than two years in custody.

The defendant, Siti Aisyah, 27, will be allowed to leave Malaysia and return to Indonesia after prosecutors in the case withdrew the murder charge against her without explanation.

“I am surprised and very happy,” Ms. Siti told reporters as she left the courthouse with a representative of Indonesia’s embassy to Malaysia.

Indonesia’s ambassador to Malaysia, Rusdi Kirana, told reporters at the courthouse that Ms. Siti would go back to Indonesia today.

The fate of a second suspect in the case, Doan Thi Huang, 30, of Vietnam, remained uncertain. She had been scheduled to begin testifying on Monday for the first time.

But after the dismissal of the case against Ms. Siti, the trial was put on hold so that the defense could seek dismissal of the charges against Ms. Doan. The court is scheduled to reconvene on Thursday.

The two women were accused of killing Mr. Kim by smearing VX nerve agent on his face at Kuala Lumpur International Airport as he prepared to leave the country.

After their arrest, they said that they were duped into committing the killing and thought they were participating in a harmless prank for a reality television show.

Kim Jong-un was widely believed to have ordered the assassination of his elder half brother. At least seven North Korean operatives accused of recruiting the women and setting up the killing left Malaysia without facing charges.

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