Brit Faces Death by Firing Squad in Laos May 3, 2009 10:33:52 GMT -5
Post by sandbagger1 on May 3, 2009 10:33:52 GMT -5
Samantha Orobator fell pregnant four months after being taken into prison. A UK human rights lawyer has flown to Laos to assist a pregnant Briton who faces death by firing squad if convicted of drug smuggling.
Prosecutors claim Samantha Orobator, 20, was in possession of 1.5lb (680g) of heroin when she was arrested at Wattay airport, Laos, in August 2008.
Legal charity Reprieve said its lawyer, Anna Morris, had been given permission to see Miss Orabator on Tuesday. It hopes to delay her trial, which was last week brought forward by a year.
Miss Orobator, from London, had been held at Phonthong prison in the South East Asian country for many months before the British authorities learned of her arrest.
She became pregnant in the prison in December and is due to give birth in September.
Reprieve said authorities in Laos announced on Thursday that Miss Orobator's trial would be brought forward to next week - a year early. It believes the decision to move the trial was only taken after arrangements were made for her to see a lawyer for the first time.
Ms Morris said she was due to meet British consular officials on Monday. She said she understood the legal system in Laos meant defendants were only able to see lawyers a week before, or even on the day their trials began.
British officials had only been able to visit her for a period of around 20 minutes once a month, she said.
There is no British Embassy in Laos and the nearest is in the Thai capital, Bangkok. The Foreign Office only learned of her arrest when Australian authorities passed on information from another prison inmate.
Miss Orobator was born in Nigeria but lived in south London from the age of eight. Her father lives in Nigeria and her mother and three sisters live in Ireland.
She had been on holiday in Thailand and the Netherlands before travelling to Laos.
In Laos, anyone caught with more than 1lb (500g) of heroin faces a mandatory death sentence.
At least 39 people have been sentenced to death in Laos since 2003.