Australian grandma sentenced to death for drugs in Malaysia
June 23 2018, 04:40 | Irvin Gilbert
Australian Grandmother Sentenced To Death Over Drug Smuggling
But prosecutors indicated they wanted to appeal the acquittal, meaning that Exposto couldn't return home to Sydney and to her three grandchildren, as there was a still a chance she could face the death sentence, AFP reported in December.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will continue to provide full consular assistance, she said.
"You will win and you will walk away", Ms Abdullah told Ms Exposto.
The three judges sitting in Kuala Lumpur unanimously found the 54-year-old guilty but said she had a right of further appeal on the methamphetamine charges and wished her luck.
Australian Maria Elvira Pinto Exposto leaves following her release at the High Court in Shah Alam, outside Kuala Lumpur, on Dec 27, 2017.
An Australian granny is being sentenced to death for smuggling crystal meth into Malaysia - but she claims she was the victim of an online romance scam. "She is not a drug trafficker". "She was a drug mule", Scivetti told The Associated Press, adding that they have appealed to Malaysia's top court.
"Criminals will groom these individuals and they will talk to them morning, noon and night, and they develop a very close and trusting relationship", she said.
"It does not make sense that she was just helping someone she did not know carry something", said the prosecution in their appeal.
The drugs were sewn into the lining of a bag that had been given to her by her boyfriend, whom she had met online.
Exposto, arrested in Kuala Lumpur while in transit to Melbourne from Shanghai, has said she was decoyed into carrying the bag with the drugs by a friend of her online boyfriend, who claimed to be a U.S. soldier serving in Afghanistan.
She was booked on a connecting flight to Melbourne and could have stayed in the airport's transit areas without having to pass through the security checkpoint.
Last year, Malaysian lawmakers voted to abolish mandatory death sentences for drug offenses and did not execute anyone for drug-related offenses that year, according to Harm Reduction International, a nongovernmental organization partly funded by the European Union that tracks death-penalty laws for drug offenses globally. "It's obvious I'm innocent".
In Malaysia, anyone found guilty of smuggling more than 1.76 ounces of an illegal drug must be sentenced to death. Following the prosecution's appeal, she remained in custody because she couldn't afford to pay bail. "You are convicted and will suffer death by hanging", said Justice Mohtaruddin Baki who chaired a three-man bench.
Diplomatic relations between the two countries chilled for years after Malaysia hanged two Australians in 1986 for heroin trafficking, a move that then Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke denounced as a "barbaric act".