Nigerian's 15-year drug sentence is confirmed

By Lu Chen in Shanghai Source:Global Times Published: 2013-2-26 0:43:05

The Shanghai Higher People's Court on Monday rejected a Nigerian man's appeal of a 15-year prison sentence he received after police found 91.75 grams of cocaine, 3.7 grams of methamphetamine and 1.76 grams of heroin in his residence in Shanghai in March, 2012.

Akinola Akinwunmi Anthony, 31, thought the sentence he received from the Shanghai No. 2 Intermediate People's Court was too harsh. He was also fined 50,000 yuan ($8,023).

Anthony told the higher court Monday that the police did not find a large amount of drugs and he was not involved in drug trafficking. "The drugs in my place were only for my own use. The 45 grams of cocaine were my friend's," said an emotional Anthony who was told several times by the judge to control himself.

Anthony said he would not have pled guilty if he had known he would be sentenced for drug trafficking.

"The police did not catch him selling drugs, so the court should not exclude the possibility that the drugs were for his own use," said his attorney.

According to China's criminal law, possession of less than 10 grams of heroin or methamphetamine is punished by no more than three years in prison. The evidence must show the defendant was not involved in trafficking.

Anthony admitted he had sold drugs and that he owned the confiscated drugs.

"Testimony from witnesses who bought drugs from him showed that Anthony did sell drugs," the prosecutor argued.

"The police records showed he confessed to selling drugs to a German and other people several times. This shows that he was involved in drug trafficking, and contradicts his words today," the prosecutor told the Global Times.

Chinese law states traffickers will be sentenced to a minimum of 15 years in prison and can be sentenced to death.

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