Australian sentenced to death in Malaysia drugs case

Exposto was incarcerated at Kajang Women’s Prison Kuala Lumpur

A Malaysian court on Thursday sentenced to death by hanging an Australian mother of three, for trafficking more than a kilogramme of crystal methamphetamine into the Southeast Asian nation, but her lawyer said she was appealing.

Exposto, 54, was arrested in December 2014 in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur on her way home to Sydney from Shanghai.

The court has previously heard Ms Exposto fell victim to an internet romance scam and that she was tricked into believing she was in Shanghai to lodge documents for her online boyfriend's retirement from service in the United States army.

In Malaysia, anyone found guilty of smuggling more than 1.76 ounces of an illegal drug must be sentenced to death.

In a unanimous verdict, all three court of appeal judges ruled that the merits of the appeal were valid and found Exposto guilty, with the only sentence under law being death by hanging.

An Australian grandmother has been sentenced to death for smuggling 1.5kg of crystal methamphetamine while traveling from Melbourne to Shanghai. The report did not say who handed her the backpack.

According to SBS, Exposto's lawyers said she had gone to Shanghai to file documents in relation to her boyfriend's retirement from service in the U.S. army.

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

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She said yes. Then, while changing flights at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, she mistakenly went through immigration. She told the court that she had agreed to take the backpack from the stranger because she was told it carried her online boyfriend's clothes.

Exposto's elation at being acquitted on December 27 past year was shortlived with the prosecution announcing an appeal shortly after.

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.

"An appeal will be filed in the Federal Court - the final appeal", lawyer Muhamed Shafee told CNN.

Airport officials discovered the drug beneath a stitched-in patch on the inside of the backpack.

In 1986, Kevin Barlow and Brian Chambers were hanged after being found guilty of trafficking heroin.

"Australia opposes the death penalty in all circumstances for all people", Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said in a statement Thursday. She said the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade would work to help Exposto avoid the death penalty.

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