WELL Beatrice Laus Johie, the Sarawakian nurse caught at Melbourne Airport with 1.5kg of heroin in her luggage last November, has pleaded guilty to a charge of trying to import a marketable quantity of drugs.
This was after she made a plea bargain for the first charge of possession of the drug to be withdrawn.
Apparently her legal aid lawyer also negotiated with the prosecutor for the sentence, which would be handed down on February 1, to be not more than a year.
Although it sounds strange that she pleaded guilty after continuously declaring she did not know the heroin was in her luggage, this was perhaps the best legal strategy.
She has already served two months in remand and apparently with good behaviour, Beatrice could possibly come home sooner.
Apparently if she had pleaded not guilty, the case could have dragged on for months.
If she was later found guilty of both charges, she could be jail for a much longer time.
The maximum penalty for trafficking in a trafficable quantity of a drug of dependence to Australia is 15 years imprisonment.
The maximum penalty for trafficking in a commercial quantity of a drug of dependence is 25 years imprisonment.
Beatrice would have been in her 40s or 50s by the time she was released if given the maximum penalty.
So a year or less is a gift. The Sarawakian women who were caught in China would not have it so easy.
Drug mules in China would be shown the gallows if found guilty of bringing 500 grams or more of drugs into the country.
All the best to Beatrice. Hopefully she will be able to hold her children again in just over a year’s time.
The report from The Borneo Post
Sarawak nurse pleads guilty after one drug charge dropped
MELBOURNE: A nurse from Kuching, Sarawak, pleaded guilty in the Magistrates Court here today to a charge of trying to import marketable quantity of drugs after the first charge of possession of the drug was withdrawn.
Beatric Laus Johie, 28, was caught by Australian Customs officers with about 1.5kg of heroin in her luggage when she arrived here by AirAsia on November 6 last year.
After the hearing today, Johie told the Malaysian Consul-General in Melborurne Dr Mohd Rameez Yahaya that her lawyer made a plea bargain with the prosecutor that if she pleaded guilty to one charge, then the other would be dropped.
She said her lawyer, provided by Legal Aid, also negotiated the with the prosecutor that when the sentence was handed down on February 1, it would not be more than a year.
When asked by Dr Rameez why she had pleaded guilty after previously claiming she was an innocent victim, the mother of three said she felt “reckless’ and should have been more careful.
Having already served two months in remand and with good behavior, Johie could hope to be home sooner.
But had she pleaded not guilty today, the case could have dragged on for months and if later found guilty, she could be jail for a long stretch.
Johie, who had maintained that she was not aware the heroin was in her luggage, had blamed her former Nigerian boyfriend in Kuala Lumpur for placing the drug in her bag without her knowledge. – Bernama