Belgium court declares Vietnamese woman innocent of drug trafficking charges

By An Hong   April 6, 2019 | 08:48 pm GMT+7
Belgium court declares Vietnamese woman innocent of drug trafficking charges
Pham Thi Tuyet Mai returned to Hanoi Friday after spending 109 days in France.

A Vietnamese woman arrested in France last year for drug trafficking has been declared innocent by a Belgium court.

After the Antwerp Court in Belgium declared her innocence, Pham Thi Tuyet Mai, 34, was given her passport back and a Paris court ordered judicial surveillance lifted.

Mai returned to Hanoi Friday after spending 109 days in France.

Last December, Mai was apprehended by French border police at the Charles de Gaulle airport when she and her boyfriend were traveling from Vietnam to Malta to visit his family.

Her arrest, as per the European Arrest Warrant, was ordered by a judicial court in Antwerpen, Belgium back in 2013, in which it sought to execute a four-year sentence for drug trafficking between October 1, 2010 and May 10, 2011.

She was allowed bail by a Parisian court of appeal a day after her arrest, but was ordered to hand over all identification documents, placed under judicial surveillance and not allowed to leave the country.

Mai denied all drug trafficking and storage charges against her and said she had sufficient evidence to prove her innocence.

She said she studied and worked in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, before returning to Vietnam in March 2010. She only returned to Europe once in November 2011 for work. She also had documents to prove that she was working for a company in Vietnam from May 2010 to May 2012.

She added that she was not in Europe when the case happened in Belgium and proved so through the immigration stamp in her passport.

Mai’s defense lawyer said there were "too many irregularities" in Mai’s 2013 verdict and that her case might have been a case of identity theft instead.

 
 
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