Pregnant Briton held in Laos 'was not raped'

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The Independent Online

The mother of a British woman who became pregnant while being held on drug charges in Laos has said her daughter was not raped or sexually assaulted in prison.

Jane Orobator said her 20-year-old daughter, Samantha, looked well after their second meeting in Laos on Monday.

Samantha, who became pregnant in December, has been in prison in the communist Southeast Asian country since her arrest in August 2008 on charges of smuggling heroin.

"She told me that she was not raped or sexually assaulted in prison and that the father of her unborn child is not a Lao prison official," Jane Orobator said in statement.

Her remarks were released through Britain's Foreign Office in response to speculation about some aspects of the case.

"I hope that Samantha can now quickly have a fair trial and that she will be able to come home before too long," the elder Orobator said.

A trial date has not been set, but Britain and Laos signed a prisoner transfer agreement this month which could allow Samantha Orobator to serve any sentence at home.

Deputy Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, in London for talks on May 7, told British ministers Orobator would not receive a death sentence if convicted.

Reprieve, a prison rights charity that campaigns against capital punishment, has said it is concerned about Orobator's health and that of her unborn child.