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Cambodia upholds pill sentence

Written By vibykhmer on Monday, September 7, 2009 | 7:05 AM

Johanne Vinter Axelsen, 55, has had her sentence upheld in Cambodia.
7. sep 2009

Cambodian court has upheld a verdict on a Danish woman for having sent headache pills to the United States.

A Cambodian court has upheld a 15-year sentence on a Danish woman for having sent headache pills to the United States, despite police having destroyed most of the evidence.

Johanne Vinter Axelsen, 55, was sentenced in January on charges of having sent the pills, which included codein, to her son who was starting a business in the U.S.

"Immediately after the appeal court's decision, she was pulled into a car and taken to continue her sentence at Correctional Centre 2 in Phnom Penh," says her lawyer Henrik Hasseris Olesen.

In handing down its decision, the Appeals Court did not take Nielsen's claim that she was unaware that it was illegal to send pills out of the country into account.

"In January she was sentenced for having sent 28 envelopes with pills to the United States. The charge is now that she sent 58 envelopes. And at least one of them was sent before she arrived in the country," Olesen says, adding that the police had told the court that all but one of the envelopes that were evidence in the case had been destroyed.

Supreme Court
Axelsen's Cambodian lawyer is now trying to appeal the case to the Cambodian Supreme Court and her Danish lawyer is seeking help from the Danish Foreign MInistry to improve her conditions.

According to her lawyer, Axelsen currently spends 23 hours of each day with 45 other prisoners in a cell measuring 60 square metres.

Edited by Julian Isherwood


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