Prosecutors told the court they made the offer of a reduced charge after receiving representations from the Vietnamese embassy and the woman's lawyers.

Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, who was a suspect in the murder case of North Korean leader's half brother Kim Jong Nam, is escorted as she arrives at the Shah Alam High Court on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia March 14, 2019.
Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, who was a suspect in the murder case of North Korean leader's half brother Kim Jong Nam, is escorted as she arrives at the Shah Alam High Court on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia March 14, 2019. (Reuters)

Malaysian prosecutors dropped a murder charge against a Vietnamese woman accused of killing the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un after she pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of causing harm using dangerous means.

The Judge sentenced her to three years and four months in prison.

Prosecutors told the court they made the offer of a reduced charge after receiving representations from the Vietnamese embassy and the woman's lawyers.

Doan Thi Huong, 30, pleaded guilty to the alternative charge, financial penalty or whipping.

Huong was accused of smearing Kim Jong-nam's face with VX poison, a lethal chemical weapon, at Kuala Lumpur airport in February 2017.

If she had been found guilty of murder, she would have faced a mandatory death penalty.

Huong had been charged together with Indonesian woman Siti Aisyah.

Prosecutors sprung a surprise last month by dropping the murder charge against Siti Aisyah, but later declined to do the same for Huong, despite appeals from the Vietnamese government. 

No reason was given for the decision.

Last year, a judge had called for Huong and Siti Aisyah to enter their defence, saying there was evidence that the women and four North Korean men were part of a "well-planned conspiracy" to kill the half-sibling of Kim Jong-un.

The men remain at large.

The women's lawyers say they thought they were part of a reality prank show and did not know they were poisoning Kim.

Source: Reuters