Vietnamese dad of Kim murder suspect wants 'kind' daughter home

Vietnamese dad of Kim murder suspect wants 'kind' daughter home

kim jong nam murder suspect
Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong (C) escorted by armed Malaysian police leaves after facing trial at the Shah Alam High Court, outside Kuala Lumpur on Aug 16, 2018 for her alleged role in the assassination of Kim Jong-Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. (Photo: Manan VATSYAYANA / AFP)

NAM DINH, Vietnam: Doan Van Thanh proudly displays diplomas and photos of his daughter at his home in rural Vietnam, hopeful she'll be freed from a jail in Malaysia where she's on trial for the murder of the North Korean leader's half-brother.

READ: Timeline: The 'assassination' of Kim Jong Nam

He refuses to believe that "affable and kind" Doan Thi Huong could kill anyone, in line with defence arguments that she was tricked into the assassination along with her co-accused, Indonesian Siti Aisyah.

"She was cheated," Thanh told AFP, his eyes bloodshot and his face weathered.

kim jong nam murder suspect dad
Doan Van Thanh, father of Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong, is interviewed from his home in Nam Dinh province south of Hanoi on August 16, 2018 while following news on the trial of Huong in Malaysia for her alleged role in the assassination of Kim Jong-Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. (Photo: NHAC NGUYEN / AFP)

Huong and Siti have been behind bars since Kim Jong Nam was killed with the toxic VX nerve agent at a busy Kuala Lumpur airport in February 2017.

After months of hearings, a judge ruled Thursday (Aug 16) there is enough evidence for the trial to proceed, dashing hopes of an acquittal.

"I love my daughter and miss her, but there's nothing I can do," said Thanh, 64, who works as a cleaner and parking lot attendant at a nearby market.

kim jong nam murder suspect dad
Doan Van Thanh, father of Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong, shows the school documents of her daughter from his home in Nam Dinh province south of Hanoi on Aug 16, 2018 while following news on the trial of Huong in Malaysia for her alleged role in the assassination of Kim Jong-Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. (Photo: Nhac NGUYEN / AFP)

Huong, a former hair salon worker, left home after high school and spent a few years studying pharmacology and accounting in Hanoi.

She then moved to Malaysia, where like many Vietnamese migrant workers she hoped for a better life than the one on offer in her poor rice-farming village.

Her flashy fashion, foreign boyfriends and edgy hairstyles quickly sparked chatter among neighbours back home.

That gossip exploded after she was linked to Kim's murder, and videos quickly circulated of a woman who looks like her auditioning for the "Vietnam Idol" TV series.

Other unsubstantiated images showed the same young woman kissing a famous social media prankster on a popular YouTube channel.

Her apparent hunger for fame may have embroiled her in the shocking assassination that has grabbed global headlines.

Source: AFP/aa

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