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Indonesian escapes drug smuggling conviction in the Philippines

AN INDONESIAN convicted in the Philippines in 2012 for drug trafficking has returned home after years of ensuing court hearings, the Foreign Ministry announced after an appeals court recently overturned her life sentence.
 
Dwi Wulandari, 38, was charged with smuggling 6 kilograms of cocaine into the Philippines after she was arrested at Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Sept. 29, 2012.
 
She was handed a life sentence by the Pasay City Regional Trial Court (Br. 231) in 2017 but appealed the verdict with the help of public attorneys.
 
“On March 29, […] the presiding judge at the Manila Court of Appeal (Div. 7) ruled that [she] was not guilty of all charges and overturned the previous verdict,” said Judha Nugraha, the Foreign Ministry’s acting director for overseas citizen protection, in a statement late Monday.
 
With assistance from Indonesian Embassy officials in Manila, Dwi returned home to her family in Blitar, East Java, last week, Judha said.
 
Indonesia and the Philippines have some of the harshest antinarcotics initiatives in the region.
 
Indonesia executes convicted drug traffickers and faced a backlash in 2015 when it executed several foreign nationals. Mary Jane Veloso, a Filipina convict, escaped execution at the last minute because of a pending legal case.
 
Since coming to power in 2016, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has waged a brutal war on drugs that has seen the summary execution of tens of thousands of people, a claim by human rights groups that Manila denies. (Dian Septiari – The Jakarta Post)

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