Laos probes how jailed Brit became pregnant
Friday 22 May 2009
Lao authorities are investigating how a 20-year-old British woman accused of heroin smuggling became pregnant in prison, a challenge because the woman has refused to reveal the identity of the father, a government-run newspaper said today.
Samantha Orobator's case at first drew international attention over concerns that she could be executed by firing squad if she was found guilty. But under Lao criminal law, a pregnant woman cannot receive the death penalty.
Orobator was on her way to Australia when she was arrested at Vientiane airport on 5 August after police say they found 680 grams (1.5 pounds) of heroin in 68 capsules on her body. The British legal charity Reprieve claims the drugs were found in Orobator's luggage. Orabator has said she is innocent.
According to Lao authorities, Orobator initially told authorities she was pregnant by her boyfriend in England but tests carried out showed no signs of pregnancy. It was not until March 2, that she was found to be pregnant in a hospital test that was verified by a second test April 4, police said, meaning she must have gotten pregnant while in prison.
Police now say her trial will be delayed until they find out how Orobator became pregnant to ensure "the trial is fair and justice was done."
"This case is not difficult because everything is clear as she was in possession of the drug and all the evidence was on her body," Police Lt. Col. Khamphonh Sihaphancha was quoted as saying in the Vientiane Times. "The problem now is her pregnancy so we need more time to investigate."
Police did not say what their investigation would entail but they raised the possibility they would be looking into whether Orobator might have gotten pregnant by artificial insemination.
Orobator has refused to reveal how she became pregnant and her mother Jane Orobator recently said that she had not been raped by prison officials or fellow prisoners. Jane Orobator also said the father was not a Laotian prison official but she did not reveal the identity of the father nor say whether she knew who it was.
Even if she is convicted, Orobator may not spend much time in Lao jail. A deal struck between British and Laotian officials earlier this month which could allow Orobator, if convicted, to serve any jail sentence in Britain.
Laotian officials, however, could still veto her return.
- 1 All Blacks Aaron Cruden misses New Zealand flight after drinking session, has brilliant excuse
- 2 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': TV reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 Alicia Keys leaks nude photo 'to create a kinder and more peaceful world'
- 5 Clothes store Joy angers mental health campaigners with Twitter exchange on bipolar disorders
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pharmaceutical Computer ...
£70 - £90 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Higher Level Teaching Assist...
£50 - £80 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Randstad Education is the UK...
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently ...