Maria Elvira Pinto Exposto is escorted by police during a court hearing at Shah Alam High Court in Shah Alam, Malaysia. File photo/ AP
Malaysia’s top appeals court on Tuesday acquitted an Australian grandmother who faced the death penalty in a drugs case, her lawyer said.
Defense lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said Australian national Maria Elvira Pinto Exposto was immediately taken into immigration custody because her visa has expired.
Exposto was first exonerated by the High Court in 2017 on grounds that she didn’t know there were 1.5 kilograms (3.3 pounds) of crystal methamphetamine in her bag when she was arrested in December 2014 at Kuala Lumpur’s international airport.
But the appeals court last year overturned the court’s acquittal.
Her lawyer said he is now applying for her release and will fight plans to deport her.
Her defense lawyers had said that Exposto, a 54-year-old mother of four from Sydney and also a grandmother, was the victim of an internet romance scam.
Exposto has said that she went to Shanghai to meet a US serviceman with whom she had an online romance and had been asked to carry a bag full of clothes. She said she was unaware that the bag also contained drugs.
Exposto had arrived from Shanghai and was to catch a connecting flight to Melbourne when she was detained in Malaysia.
Malaysia has a mandatory death sentence for anyone found guilty of carrying more than 50 grams of a prohibited drug.
Three Australians have been hanged for drug offenses in Malaysia since 1986.
Toppled Malaysian leader Najib Razak returned to court for the second day of his high-profile corruption trial on Monday, with the former premier accused of plundering large sums from a unit of sovereign wealth fund 1MDB.
Malaysian ex-leader Najib Razak's most significant 1MDB trial, which centres on claims huge sums ended up in his bank account, was postponed on Monday for a week after prosecutors said they were not ready.
Australia and the Netherlands said on Wednesday they will pursue criminal prosecutions for those responsible for the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 that killed 298 people even if it takes many years.
The hospital has been established in the southeastern province of Khost to treat the affected people.
The father, 45-year-old Roderick Randall, was arrested and charged with culpable negligence, unlawful possession of a firearm and concealment of evidence, Escambia County Sheriff Chip Simmons said.
Japan braced for its hottest day yet of a record-breaking June heatwave as fears grew about a shortage of electricity to keep air conditioners whirring and PM Fumio Kishida called for a ramp-up of nuclear power use.