Ethiopia's federal High Court has sentenced a Zimbabwean woman to nine years in prison for drug trafficking.
The woman was arrested on October 12, last year, while trying to board a flight to Accra, Ghana, with heroin, Ethiopia’s Ministry of Justice said in a statement on Tuesday.
The defendant, named as Merry Ziwachi, was going from Harare, to Accra via Addis Ababa Bole International Airport.
According to the statement, customs police in Ethiopia searched her luggage and found a total of 5, 900 grams of heroin stashed in her two bags.
In doing so, Ziwachi was found to have violated Article 525 of Ethiopia’s criminal code which prohibits the possession of narcotic substances with the intent of trafficking, the statement explained.
The charges were read to the accused during a court session and asked to defend herself provided that she understood the charges.
The accused said she understood the charges but pleaded not guilty saying “a close friend of mine put the items in my bag without telling me what they were".
The prosecutor also presented a list of human, documentary, and exhibit as evidence that would explain the defendant’s actions.
The court found the defendant guilty and told her to defend herself.
Ziwachi, after failing to defend herself, was sentenced to nine years in prison, said the ministry’s statement.
She was also slapped with an additional $204 fine.