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Russian woman sentenced to death in China rejects to file appeal

December 13, 2011, 8:24 UTC+3

The consulate general expects that the sentence will be confirmed by the end of January or the beginning of February

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HONG KONG (XIANGGANG), November 28 (Itar-Tass) — Russian citizen Marina Lopatina, 38, sentenced to death with a two-year suspension of sentence for drug smuggling in China rejected to file an appeal to the court, the Russian consulate general in Guangzhou told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.

The consulate general denied Russian mass media reports that the woman appealed to the Supreme People’s Court of China requesting reconsideration of her case.

“Lopatina decided not to file an appeal. Experience proved that there are practically no chances for positive consideration of the appeal in such cases and this will be only the loss of time. Nevertheless, the resident of Khabarovsk can hope for the sentence’s mitigation,” a Russian diplomat said.

He noted that under the Chinese laws, her sentence can be replaced for lifetime imprisonment or reduced to 15-20 years in prison for good behavior.

Marina Lopatina was found guilty by a court in the south Chinese city of Zhuhai, China’s southern province of Guangdong, of smuggling 2 kilograms of heroin to China’s mainland from the Macao special administrative region, where she arrived from Thailand.

The consulate general expects that the sentence will be confirmed by the end of January or the beginning of February. Soon after this the verdict will enter into force and “two years of the suspended sentence will begin to be counted”, after which China can adopt an act of pardon or mitigation of the sentence. After this the consulate general can take attempts to bring Lopatina to the homeland within the framework of the Russian-Chinese agreement on mutual delivery of prisoners, he said.

At present, the number of Russian citizens convicted of drug smuggling in China reached seven. Last July the Supreme People’s Court of China sentenced the Russian citizen to death with the execution delayed for two years for an attempt to smuggle 2.8 kilograms of heroin from Central Asia to China.

Earlier, four Russian women were arrested in different time and convicted in Yunnan province, southwest China, bordering the infamous opium-producing region Golden Triangle. The eldest of them is sixty years old. All of them were taken to a prison in Heilongjiang Province, northeast China, bordering Russia. The Russian man arrested for smuggling 1.9 kilograms of heroin remains in a prison of Beijing.

Under the Chinese laws, the smuggling of over 50 grams of dangerous drugs is the sufficient reason for sentencing to death.


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