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Pattaya Daily News

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04 June 2009 :: 15:06:26 pm 9100

Pregnant Brit Gets Life Imprisonment In Laos

A pregnant British woman originally en route to Thailand has been sentenced to life imprisonment in Laos for heroin trafficking. The woman was caught with trafficking 680 grams (1.5 pounds) of heroin in August, 2008. Samantha Orobator, 20, from South London, UK, narrowly escaped the death penalty, the normal penalty for drug trafficking amounts exceeding 500 grams in Laos, receiving a life sentence instead on June 3, in a trial that was conducted in English.
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Samantha apparently became pregnant while in prison and is due to have her baby in September. She had first told authorities that she was already pregnant by her boyfriend in England, but tests did not bear this out. Then report began to circulate that Samantha had been raped by prison officials or fellow prisoners, but Samantha’s scotched these rumours. The most likely scenario is that Samantha obtained sperm from a fellow prisoner to impregnate herself to avoid the death penalty as Laotian police maintained was the case in the Vientiane Times Newspaper. The death penalty is not carried out when prisoners are pregnant; a fact confirmed by Lao Deputy Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith.

Phanthong Prison, where Samantha is confined, has an extremely bad reputation for malnutrition, disease, abuse and torture. An Australian prisoner, at Phanthong Prison, Kay Danes, reportedly told The Times Newspaper: “If she goes into early labour or starts miscarrying, nobody will come however much she screams. I’ve heard all the prisoners yelling at the top of their lungs, shouting for the guards when one of the inmates was dying, and nobody comes. Nobody ever comes.”

However, there is a an extremely good chance that Samantha will be transferred to a British jail to serve her sentence as UK Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, signed a prisoner transfer agreement with Laos’s deputy premier, Thongloun Sisoulith, in London on May 7; a process which can take a several months, although Laos still has the option to veto any exchange. Samantha also has the option of appealing against her sentence. A British Embassy diplomat reportedly said: “We are now seeking access to Samantha so we can discuss what we can do next.”

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Crime News

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