Aussie grandma sentenced to death for trafficking

26 May, 2018, 06:27 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • Australian grandma sentenced to death in Malaysia on drug smuggling charges

The grandmother-of-three was acquitted of all charges in December previous year, but the ruling was later overturned after prosecutors appealed.

In a statement yesterday 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", the lawyer was reported as saying.

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.

"It's disappointing as there was clear evidence that she was the victim of an Internet romance scam".

An Australian grandmother has been sentenced to death for smuggling 1.5kg of crystal methamphetamine while traveling from Melbourne to Shanghai.

The latest decision comes five months after Exposto was acquitted of drug trafficking.

Believing him to be a United States soldier based in Afghanistan, Exposto said the charming military man had "made [her] feel loved, he made [her] feel wanted", and would send photos of himself to the grandmother.

The lawyers claimed she did not know the drugs were there, saying she had "never seen drugs in her life", and volunteered her bag to be scanned by an airport X-ray machine. "She was a drug mule".


The 54-year-old Australian grandmother had traveled to China in 2014 in hopes of meeting her boyfriend, a man she had met online years before who claimed to be Capt. Daniel Smith, a USA service member.

The drugs were found inside a stitched compartment of a backpack Ms Exposto was carrying.

"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. Exposto will be given one last chance to appeal her conviction.

She was acquitted after the judge found she was scammed by her online boyfriend and was unaware she was carrying the drugs.

The foreign reaction to the case of Mr. Barlow and Mr. Chambers has provoked widespread criticism in Malaysia and elsewhere in Southeast Asia, where Government officials said they would not be deflected from their "war on dadah" by Western or global protests when Western lives were involved.

According to the Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide, the country carried out four executions in 2017, down from nine the year before.

Melissa Cunningham reports breaking news for The Age.

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