Botswana pledges support in drug mule's death sentence appeal

Botswana pledges support in drug mule's death sentence appeal
Botswana pledges support in drug mule's death sentence appeal

President Mokgweetsi Masisi has pledged support for ‘drug mule’ Lesedi Molapisi, who has been condemned to the gallows, should she opt to appeal her sentence. This follows his announcement confirming that the 32-year-old Molapisi was sentenced to death by a Bangladeshi court on Monday on drug trafficking charges.

“I leave on a sombre note that a citizen of ours in a faraway land, got into trouble and is faced with a very harsh reality of paying the hard price,” Masisi said at a media briefing ahead of his departure for the JCK Show earlier today.

He appealed to Batswana to keep Molapisi and her family in their prayers “and wish that there would be some [other] reason to punish her but not as severely as she is being punished".

In a rather bold statement, Masisi further added that the Government of Botswana would assist with her appeal, should she opt to.

“What is left is an appeal. We will facilitate and provide counselling to the family. Provide some sort of financial support to enable the final appeal, as is led by the international human rights agency, Amnesty International,” he said.

However, Masisi expressed the seriousness of the death sentence and that even Batswana are concerned about the drug trade.

“I must also remind you that even in our own consultation of the constitutional review, Batswana expressed a similar view to the country where she is being sentenced. There are some strong sentiments out there about involvement in the drug trade,” Masisi shared.

Molapisi was arrested for drug trafficking back in 2022 at Bangladesh's Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport after being found in possession of over 3.145kg of heroin. As per media reports in that country, she had arrived at the airport on a Qatar Airways flight from South Africa via Doha, Qatar.

According to news agency Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS), a Dhaka court awarded Molapisi the death penalty.

“Additional Metropolitan Session Judge, Court Number 8, Dhaka Md Aminul Islam passed the order on Monday. Assistant bench officer of the concerned court ... confirmed it today,” read the online report.

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