‘Miracle’ prison sentence for teen fearing death by firing squad in Bali

A 19-year-old woman who was caught with drugs at Bali Airport has been sentenced to 11 years in prison, escaping death by firing squad as previously feared.

Brazilian teen Manuela Vitoria de Araujo Farias was charged with international drug trafficking after she was arrested over 3kg of cocaine found in her luggage in January.

Her case made headlines across the world when it was revealed she could face the maximum penalty for trafficking drugs in Indonesia; execution by firing squad or life imprisonment.

On Thursday, she was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

Her lawyer Davi Lira da Silva celebrated the outcome in a post on Instagram, adding that the young woman would also need to pay 1 billion Indonesian Rupiah ($100,500).

He told Brazilian media the sentence was a “miracle” given the country’s strict drug laws and death penalty.

Mr da Silva hoped with good behaviour the sentence would be reduced.

It was only a fortnight ago that Farias realised she would unlikely be sentenced to death.

Mr da Silva told Brazilian media the defence was relieved when prosecutors asked the court to imprison Farias for 12 years, meaning she “practically escaped both life imprisonment and the death penalty”.

He believed that if the prosecution did not ask for capital punishment, the judge would not give it.

At Thursday’s sentencing, that was confirmed.

Bali Police Chief Inspector General Putu Jayan Danu Putra had confirmed the young woman’s arrest to local media in Denpasar on January 27.

The Bali Sun reported that Farias had arrived at Bali Airport at around 3am on January 1 on a Qatar Airways flight. She had flown from Brazil to Bali via Qatar.

“The drug smuggling attempt was thwarted by the Bali airport customs. We really appreciate what customs have done,” Chief Inspector Putra told reporters at the January 27 press conference, according to the publication.

Prosecutors had alleged she was working with a drug gang, but Mr da Silva claimed Farias, who sold lingerie and perfume for a living, was tricked into co-operating after the group told her of temples in Bali where they pray for the sick.

Farias’ lawyers said she was going to seek Buddhist prayers for her sick mother.

Source: news.com.au