Two Georgians Condemned for Malaysian Drug Offense Return Home

TBILISI - Two Georgian women accused and sentenced to death for drug trafficking in Malaysia in 2010 returned to their homes on Sunday.

Babutsa Gordadze, 26, and Darejan Kokhtashvili, 37, faced the death penalty in for allegedly carrying a large amount of drugs hidden in picture frames they had packed in their luggage hidden in picture frames.

Georgia-based media company, Rustavi 2, reported that Gordadze’s family members welcomed her when she arrived at Tbilisi’s airport.

Journalists were not allowed to access to either of the returnees.

Gordadze and Kokhtashvili were convicted and sentenced to death by hanging for allegedly trafficking illegal drugs in October 2010. After Georgian authorities became involved in the negotiations, their punishment was reduced to an eight-year prison sentence.

The negotiations allowed the two to serve the remainder of their sentence in their home country. The Georgian and Malaysian governments later agreed the two would be paroled and deported to Georgia in 2016.

Sixteen Asian countries currently employ the death penalty for drug-related crimes. The majority of the region’s governments do not publicly release information on the number death sentences carried out for those convicted of narcotics smuggling.

Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, however, report a high proportion of death sentences for those convicted of drug offenses.

By Tamar Svanidze
Edited by Nicholas Waller

29 February 2016 14:46