ADDIS ABABA – A Federal High Court in Addis has sentenced a Zimbabwean woman to 9 years in prison for drug trafficking.
In a statement Monday, the Ministry of Justice says the woman was arrested on October 12, last year, while trying to board a flight to Accra, Ghana, with heroin.
The defendant, named as Merry Ziwachi, was going from Harare, to Accra via Addis Ababa Bole International Airport.
Customs Police searched her luggage and found a total of 5, 900 grams of Heroin stashed in her two bags.
In doing so, Ziwachi violated article 525 of Ethiopia’s criminal code which prohibits possession of narcotic substances with the intent of trafficking, reads the statement.
The charges were read to the accused during a Court session and asked to defend herself provided that she understood. The accused said she understood the charges but pleaded not guilty saying “a close friend of mine put it in my bag without telling me” what it was.
The prosecutor also presented a list of human, documentary, and exhibit evidence that would explain the defendant’s actions.
The court found the Defendant guilty and told her to defend herself.
Ziwachi, after failing to defend herself, was sentenced to nine years in prison, says the Ministry of Justice statement. She was also slapped with an additional 10, 000 birr (or approx. $204) fine.
Meanwhile, the ministry said the same court sentenced a Spanish man, named Gregory Mozarigos, to 6-and-half-year jail time for possession of Cocaine with an intent to trafficking.
The man was arrested with 3,030 grams of Cocaine when he tried to board a plane to Paris, France, after arriving at Addis Ababa Airport from Johannesburg, South Africa.
The court also levied an additional 10, 000 birr (or approx. $102) fine against the convict.
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