British woman faces death over drug charges in Malaysia
A British woman and her Malaysian husband have been charged with trafficking and possessing drugs, and face the death penalty if found guilty, Malaysian police said Thursday.
The couple were arrested two weeks ago after police seized drugs including heroin and ecstasy worth over 75,000 ringgit (24,000 dollars) from their home in northern Terengganu state.
State anti-narcotics chief Roslan Abdul Wahid said that five drug charges were brought against Shivaun Orton, 40, and four against her husband Abdul Harris Fadilah, 46, in court on Wednesday.
"They face individual charges of drug trafficking and also a joint charge of illegally possessing five cannabis plants," he told AFP.
"They have been denied bail as trafficking and possessing so much drugs is a capital offence," Roslan said, adding that the case would be heard in court next on January 26.
"If found guilty, the two will face the death penalty, which in Malaysia is by hanging."
Roslan said the couple had been married for 20 years, and ran a holiday chalet business at the popular beach resort of Cherating. The chalets are under investigation as a location where drugs could have been sold to customers.
The British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur confirmed that Orton had been charged under Malaysia's Dangerous Drugs Act.
"Our High Commission is providing consular assistance and a member of the High Commission staff has visited her," it said.
"We are also in close touch with the British national's family and are providing them with consular assistance."
© 2010 AFP