Related News

Home » World

Jailed British woman impregnated herself

POLICE in Laos said a British woman to be tried tomorrow for heroin trafficking secretly impregnated herself with the sperm of another prisoner in an effort to escape the death penalty, according to a government newspaper.

Samantha Orobator's trial, originally scheduled for early May, had been delayed while authorities tried to determine how she could have become pregnant inside the prison.

The 20-year-old was arrested last August, but her case didn't draw international attention until news of her pregnancy became public and concerns initially grew that she could be executed by firing squad if found guilty.

Under criminal law in Laos, a pregnant woman cannot receive the death penalty.

According to Lao officials, Orobator initially told authorities she was pregnant by her boyfriend in England, but tests showed no signs of pregnancy. It was not until March 2 that a hospital test showed she was pregnant, verified by a second test April 4, police said. That meant she must have gotten pregnant while in prison.

Orobator's mother recently said her daughter had not been raped by prison officials or fellow prisoners, as some media had reported.

The Vientiane Times today quoted police as saying Orobator told authorities she secretly obtained sperm from a fellow prisoner to impregnate herself to avoid the death penalty. The newspaper did not name the sources or give other details.

Orobator was in jail and so could not be reached to confirm or deny the newspaper account. Orobator's mother Jane has said her daughter told her that she had not been sexually assaulted while in prison and that the father of her unborn child was not a Lao prison official.

But Jane Orobator did not reveal the identity of the father.

An earlier Vientiane Times report said Dr. Bouavanh Sengsathit, director of the National Mother and Child Health Hospital, had listed self-impregnation as one of several theories.

Police say they found 680 grams (1.5 pounds) of heroin in 68 capsules on Orobator's body when she was arrested at Vientiane airport on her way to Australia. The British legal charity Reprieve says the drugs were found in Orobator's luggage. Orobator has said she is innocent.

The British Embassy in Bangkok said it had been notified by Lao authorities that Orobator's trial would begin Wednesday.

Even if convicted, Orobator may not spend much time in a Lao jail. A deal struck between British and Laotian officials could allow Orobator to serve any jail sentence in Britain.

Lao officials, however, could still veto her return.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend