Tuesday, October 26

Sarawak nurse pleads guilty after one drug charge dropped

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MELBOURNE: A nurse from Kuching, Sarawak, pleaded guilty in the Magistrate 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today to a charge of trying to import marketable quantity of drugs after the first charge of possession of the drug was withdrawn.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 1.5 kilogrammes 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