KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 2 -- Two women accused of assassinating the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with a banned nerve agent pleaded not guilty at the start of a high-profile murder trial in a Malaysian court on Monday.Indonesian Siti Aisyah, 25, and Doan Thi Huong, 28, a Vietnamese, are charged with killing Kim Jong Nam by smearing his face with VX, a chemical poison banned by the United Nations, at Kuala Lumpur's international airport on Feb. 13.Police have also named four North Koreans as suspects in the case and an Interpol red notice, an international alert just short of an arrest warrant, has been issued for the North Koreans, who remain at large.Prosecutors said the four North Koreans helped the accused women carry out several practice runs in Kuala Lumpur shopping malls."The prank practice carried out by the first and second accused with the supervision of the four who are still at large was preparation to see through their common intention to kill the … [Read more...] about Two women, including Vietnamese, plead not guilty to killing N.Korean leader’s half-brother
Wrongly convicted death penalty
Police in the northern province of Thai Nguyen seized 20 kilograms of methamphetamine on Friday after shooting out the tires on a would-be trafficker's car. Three suspects were taken into custody. Police say Dao Van Khanh was driving the vehicle loaded with meth, while two other men served as spotters in a second vehicle. When Khanh saw police on the road ahead, he reportedly made a U-turn and attempted a high-speed escape. Police shot out Khanh's tires and took him into custody where he reportedly confessed to having purchased the drugs in Lang Son Province, which borders China. Vietnam has some of the world’s toughest drug laws. Those convicted of possessing or smuggling more than 600 grams of heroin or more than 2.5 kilograms of methamphetamine face the death penalty. The production or sale of 100 grams of heroin or 300 grams of other illegal narcotics is also punishable by death. Although the laws have been strictly enforced, cross-border drug running … [Read more...] about Cops shoot out drug runner’s tires in northern Vietnam
Justice is long past the days of an eye for an eye as serious crimes tend to be measured by the number of years the culprit is sentenced to jail.The 55 remaining countries that still had capital punishment as of 2016 mostly reserved it for crimes deemed especially grave in nature, according to Amnesty International.Under Vietnam's penal code, those crimes include endangering national security, infringing on people's lives, illicit drugs, corruption and a number of other offenses. Official figures from Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security showed that 429 prisoners were executed between August 2013 and June 2016.Things will change from January 2018 when the new Penal Code takes effect. Robbery, vandalizing equipment and projects vital to national security, opposing order, surrendering to the enemy and the production and trade of fake food will be removed from Vietnam’s list of capital offenses. That will take the country’s number of capital crimes down from … [Read more...] about Should Vietnam abolish the death penalty?
An ethnic minority worker harvests latex in Gia Lai Province. While the living standards of ethnic minorities have been improved by National Programme 135, it has not received adequate funding. —VNA/VNS Photo Duong Giang HA NOI (VNS)—Minister-Chairman of the Government Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs Giang Seo Phu yesterday conceded there were shortcomings in implementing National Programme 135 on poverty alleviation. Responding to questions raised by National Assembly deputies, he said funding for the programme was neither sufficient nor disbursed in a timely manner, delaying implementation and undermining effectiveness of the investment. Regarding migration of ethnic minorities, Phu said comprehensive solutions were needed, including job creation and effective communication campaigns. He also said localities affected by the influx or outflow of ethnic minorities should announce their population status and agriculture land-use plans so that people know … [Read more...] about Ethnic minority poverty alleviation lacks funding