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Nigerian drug smuggler sent to death row TANGERANG - The Tangerang District Court handed down another death sentence on Wednesday; to a Nigerian citizen, Sylvester Obiekwe Nwolise, 39, who was convicted of smuggling 1.2 kilograms of heroin into the country from Pakistan in December. The court granted the prosecutors' call for the death penalty but did not fine him the requested Rp 50 million (EUR 4450).
Clad in a bright blue shirt and dark pants, Nwolise listened to the verdict expressionlessly. He told his lawyer, Martina Mona Riang Lubuk, he would appeal the verdict. Nwolise is the 28th drug trafficker sentenced to death by the court since January 2000. None of the traffickers sentenced to death in Tangerang have been executed and six have had their death sentences commuted to between 15 and 20-year jail terms after they successfully appealed to higher courts.
Others are still attempting to get lesser sentences by lodging case reviews with the Supreme Court or by seeking a presidential pardon. Presiding judge Soeprapto and members Benar Sihombing and Yosep Ziraluo convicted the defendant, a resident of Lagos, Nigeria, under Article 82 of the Law No. 22/1997 on drugs for transporting the heroin into the country. The article carries a maximum sentence of death. Soeprapto said the panel of judges did not find any mitigating factors that would affect the sentencing.
"The defendant's act of smuggling the drug would destroy the lives of thousands of young people and tarnish Indonesia's international image," he said. Compounding factors were that the defendant showed a fake passport to immigration officers, lied to the police when being questioned and was known to be a member of a drug syndicate, Soeprapto said. The tough sentence was in contrast to an earlier lesser sentence request from the prosecutors, who had said Nwolise had been cooperative during the investigation.
Prosecutor Eben Silalahi said Second Insp. Dedy Murti at the National Police Headquarters had received a tip-off Nwolise would transport the heroin on a plane from Pakistan to Jakarta via Bangkok on Dec. 21, 2003. Police officers at the airport approached the defendant when he left the terminal and asked for his identification. The defendant handed down a passport bearing the name Josphat Sibanda. The officers made a body search of the defendant and became suspicious when they found his stomach was hard and he was perspiring.
He was taken to a hospital for an X-ray and the result confirmed his stomach was filled with hard objects. Officers then gave the defendant medicine to make him defecate. Over 36 hours, he produced 66 white capsules from his stomach. Later tests confirmed the capsules contained heroin. Nwolise testified he had been asked to pass on the drug to Afianyi in Jakarta by a man called "John" and was promised US$1,500 for his services. He pled guilty to the charge of trafficking. Both John and Afianyi are still at large.



Posted in Drugs @ 02 September 2004 00:01 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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