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Malaysia upholds death sentence for Vietnamese woman caught trafficking drugs

By Phan Anh   April 21, 2019 | 11:41 pm PT
Malaysia upholds death sentence for Vietnamese woman caught trafficking drugs
A Vietnamese woman has failed to appeal against her death sentence for drug trafficking in Malaysia. Photo by Shutterstock/Metamorphic Photography
A Malaysian court has rejected a Vietnamese woman’s appeal to set aside her death sentence for drug trafficking.

Tran Thi Tat, 36, was sentenced to death in 2017 by the Kuala Terengganu High Court after she was caught with over 1.66 kg of drugs at the Kuala Terengganu Airport in 2013.

The Bernama newspaper reported Friday that her lawyer, Ghazali Izmail, said Tat did not know that there were drugs in her bag. She had carried the bag from India during the transit at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport before arriving at the Kuala Terengganu Airport, he said.

"While in India, my client’s bag was damaged and her friend’s husband provided her with the new bag. My client did not check the bag, only put her clothes in the new bag. Hence, my client didn’t have any knowledge of the drugs in the bag," Izmail said, as cited in the report.

However, deputy public prosecutor Dhiya Syazwani Izyan Mohd Akhir said Tat had knowledge of the drugs based on the testimony of a witness who said Tat seemed "hesitant and kept looking around while carrying the bag.

"The weight of the bag was not well balanced as [Tat] only brought four shirts and three pairs of pants," Akhir said.

Tat had said in her defence that she had only come to Malaysia to find a job and a husband.

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