Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Japanese Woman, 37, Sentenced to Hang for Drug Trafficking in Malaysia

Malaysia's High Court in central Selangor found Mariko Takeuchi, 37, found guilty of transporting 7.7 pounds (3.5 kilograms) of methamphetamine in a suitcase when she flew from Dubai into the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on October 30, 2009, has been sentenced to hang for her crime. A conviction for drug trafficking in Malaysia carries a mandatory death sentence.

COMMENT: Takeuchi is the first Japanese national convicted of drug trafficking in Malaysia. Her attorney, Mohamad Rafik Rahem, said earlier today (October 25) that he will appeal the verdict. The court rejected Takeuchi's claim that she had not known about the drugs and was carrying the suitcase as a favor for an Iranian acquaintance.

This case brings up questions that may or may not have been raised during Takeuchi's trial: Who was the Iranian acquaintance? Was he brought to Malaysia to testify? Did forensic analysis of the interior of the suitcase Takeuchi was given to carry into Malaysia for her "friend" contain her fingerprints? If not, whose fingerprints? What evidence did the prosecution introduce that showed a relationship between the Iranian and her? Was she paid for carrying the drugs? What proof is there of that? One would hope that Takeuchi's attorney was a criminal trial lawyer with a proven track record. Was Takeuchi ever convicted of a crime or for drug trafficking? If none of these questions can be answered to the benefit of the defendant, her luck in seeking a reversal of the conviction is very unlikely.

As I have said in the past, NEVER transport a piece of luggage across international borders for ANYONE. NO EXCEPTIONS.

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