Grandma Unknowingly Smuggled Meth To Malaysia. She's Sentenced To Death
- Author: Jon Douglas May 26, 2018,
May 26, 2018, 6:32
In 2017, she was found not guilty of drug trafficking by the Malaysian High Court.
In a statement on Thursday Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said "Australia opposes the death penalty in all circumstances for all people" and Exposto would continue to receive full Australian consular assistance.
"You will win and you will walk away", Ms Abdullah told Ms Exposto.
Maria Elvira Pinto Exposto has been sentenced to death via hanging after allegeldy trying to move almost 1.1 kilos of crystal meth across the Malaysian border into Melbourne.
"It's disappointing as there was clear evidence that she was the victim of an Internet romance scam".
Three Australians have been put to death for drug offences in Malaysia: Kevin Barlow and Brian Chambers in 1986, and Michael McAuliffe in 1993.
The latest decision comes five months after Exposto was acquitted of drug trafficking. She said the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade would work to help Exposto avoid the death penalty.
It was alleged that Ms Exposto fell for an online romance scam, with 9 News reporting that she was lured to carry the drugs by a man who claimed to be a USA soldier based in Afghanistan.
It is believed Exposto had fallen in love with the man who had groomed her over two years before she flew to the Chinese city and was handed the suitcase, her lawyers say.
The drugs were sewn into the lining of a bag that had been given to her by her boyfriend, whom she had met online.
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.
The drugs were found inside a stitched compartment of a backpack Ms Exposto was carrying.
"The accused closed an eye to the truth as she should have checked what was in the bag", government lawyer Muhammad Azmi Mashud told reporters.
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.
However, she does have the right of appeal.
Judge wishes her good luck as she has a final round of appeal in the Federal Court.
She was acquitted after the judge found she was scammed by her online boyfriend and was unaware she was carrying the drugs.
Melissa Cunningham reports breaking news for The Age.