Debbie Voulgaris faces death penalty in Taiwan amid drug smuggling charges

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Australian mother-of-five Debbie Voulgaris faces potential death penalty after she was found with 7 kilos of cocaine and heroin valued at more than $1.25 million during an airport search upon entering Taiwan.

According to ABC News, 57-year-old Debbie was arrested at Taoyuan International Airport just outside of Taipei late last year. She was later charged with smuggling heroin and cocaine.

Taiwanese police allege she was carrying 7 kilograms of heroin and cocaine in black plastic bags in a suitcase. They also claim the drugs had been given to her in Malaysia around December 10 last year, before she flew to Taiwan.

According to court documents, Debbie initially “vehemently denied” knowing about drugs in her luggage before saying her ex-husband was behind the deal.

crime

Debbie’s lawyer, Leon Huang, told the ABC it was “essential” for her ex-husband John to take the stand in her case in Taiwan, as he was the only person who could confirm her account. It’s unclear if John is currently in Australia, but Mr Huang said the legal team was seeking to subpoena him.

The indictment by the Taoyuan District Prosecutors office alleges Debbie was part of a “drug transport syndicate.”

Currently, her case is due back in court in August. The charges attract a minimum five-year jail term and even the prospect of life in prison or the death penalty.

However, the maximum penalty is considered a remote prospect after Taiwan’s Constitutional Court ruled in August that imposing a life sentence or execution for drugs offences is partly unconstitutional.

Source: ABC News

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