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Australian Grandmother Receives Death Penalty For Smuggling Meth

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An Australian grandmother who said she was tricked into carrying drugs into Malaysia after falling for an online romance scam was Thursday sentenced to death after an earlier acquittal was overturned, her lawyer said.

Exposto, 54, was arrested in December 2014 in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur on her way home to Sydney from Shanghai.

The grandmother, and mother-of-four, told law enforcement she was on her way back from Shanghai where she met a USA serviceman who she was having a romantic online romance with.

Court of Appeal judge Mohtarudin Baki, told Ms Exposto: "The only sentence under the law is death by hanging".

Sydney woman Maria Exposto has been sentenced to death in Malaysia for drug smuggling.

Exposto's lawyer, Shafee Abdullah, responded, telling the court that Exposto was an innocent carrier hoodwinked by an internet romance scam.

AAP reports her lawyer said on Friday that his client had "told me something very encouraging".

An Australian grandmother has been sentenced to death in Malaysia for attempting to smuggle drugs from Shanghai to Melbourne.

She was acquitted after the judge found she was scammed by her online boyfriend and was unaware she was carrying the drugs.

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He told Maria Elvira Pinto Exposto that she had one more round of appeal in the Federal Court.

She was acquitted in December a year ago of drug trafficking charges, however the prosecution appealed.

She had claimed she was the victim of a set-up after she was found with the drugs in her bag after arriving on a flight from China in 2014. She told the court that she had agreed to take the backpack from the stranger because she was told it carried her online boyfriend's clothes.

Exposto said that Smith had asked to marry her in September 2013; however, she had never actually met him, nor could the courts prove that he even existed.

It is believed Exposto had fallen in love with the man who had groomed her over two years before she flew to the Chinese city and was handed the suitcase, her lawyers say.

"Australia opposes the death penalty in all circumstances for all people", Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said in a statement.

Malaysia, like other countries in Southeast Asia, imposes harsh penalties for drug offences.

Diplomatic relations between the two countries have been strained since Malaysia hanged three Australians convicted of drug smuggling within the past three decades: twice in 1986 and again in 1993.

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