Sydney grandmother facing death sentence for drug smuggling walks free


An Australian woman given the death penalty in Malaysia for drug smuggling has had the sentence overturned.

Malaysia is now not carrying out any executions, while it debates scrapping mandatory death sentences for certain crimes altogether.

Exposto has claimed she was duped into the crime by an online boyfriend who went by the name "Captain Daniel Smith" and pretended to be a United States soldier in Afghanistan.

Shafee said Exposto's acquittal could "open the eyes" of traditionally conservative judges hearing similar cases of drug mules after Malaysia's top court agreed that she was the unwitting victim of an internet romance scam.

In the Federal Appeal Court of Malaysia on Tuesday there were sighs of relief from friends and family as the chief judge of Malaysia, Tengku Maimum Binti Tuan Mat, delivered the unanimous findings by a full bench of five judges.

Amnesty International says 73 per cent of about 1300 people on death row in Malaysia were convicted of drug offenses, including 566 foreigners.

Her son Hugo added: "All I want to do is to take my mum home back to Sydney - she has missed out a lot".

A Sydney grandmother has had her death sentence and drug trafficking convictions overturned by a Malaysian court.

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While in transit at KLIA, Shafee said "Maria didn't know" she did not need to come out of the transit zone in order to change planes, and followed the other passengers through immigration.

Ms Exposto's son, Hugo Pinto Exposto, said she had missed "a lot of precious moments" after almost five years behind bars.

Maria Elvira Pinto Exposto looked delighted and kissed her lawyer in court after the ruling, which brings down the curtain on a saga that began in 2014 when she was arrested with crystal methamphetamine in her backpack while transiting in Kuala Lumpur.

He believed that he was in a relationship with this person for two years.

Today, she won her final appeal against the death penalty. But she never met him.

She was detained while catching a connecting flight to Melbourne.

But she said the man emptied the bag and showed her there was nothing but clothing inside.

"This effected her heart and she fell in love with him", Mr Shafee said. "They will not readily recognise what is in the internet world, what is, in fact, an internet scam", he said. "Then her life was turned upside down", Mr Shafee said.