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Booked for an Extended Stay in Paradise

Philippine Woman Gets Life Sentence for Smuggling Heroin into Bali.

(1/8/2011) A 41-year-old Philippine woman, Caroline Sarmiento Bautista, fainted after hearing a Denpasar, Bali court sentence her to life imprisonment on Thursday, January 6, 2011.

Bautista was convicted of attempting to smuggle 2.4 kilograms of heroin into Indonesia on July 12, 2010, after landing on an AirAsia flight.

Kompas.com reports that the woman began to scream hysterically when the presiding judge read her sentence, later collapsing into unconsciousness and forcing police and prosecutors to physically carry her from the courtroom.

The court's sentence was more severe than the 20-year sentence requested by prosecutors. The woman, however, escaped the sentence of death before a firing squad, the maximum sentence allowed for her crime.

In handing down the punishment, the court said the woman's offense damaged the reputation of Bali's tourism industry and was an attempt to increase the dangerous narcotics trade in Indonesia.

The woman's lawyer said his client must now consider whether or not to appeal the court's verdict. In past narcotic cases appealed in Bali, those convicted of narcotics violations have had their life sentences changed on a appeal to a death sentence.

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