Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Australian woman to face firing squad in Vietnam

An Australian woman of Vietnamese origin has lost her court appeal and will face a firing squad in Vietnam instead of serving a life term in prison, state-run newspapers reported.

The Court of Appeals accepted a proposal by prosecutors in Ho Chi Minh City yesterday to change the sentence for 34-year-old Jasmine Luong, who was found guilty by a lower court of trafficking heroin to Australia, the Liberation Saigon newspaper said.

She now has 15 days to appeal the sentence to the President.

Luong was arrested at the city's Tan Son Nhat International Airport while boarding a flight to Melbourne in February 2007 after customs found 1.55 kg of heroin in her shoes and luggage, the city's customs reported.

Trafficking more than 600 grams of heroin is punishable by death or life imprisonment in Vietnam.

Several Australians of Vietnamese descent have been arrested for trafficking heroin to Australia from Vietnam in recent years.

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