Updated: 02/07/2014 03:19 | By Agence France-Presse

Frenchwoman charged with planting cannabis in Malaysia

A Frenchwoman was charged Thursday in Malaysia with growing cannabis, escaping a harsher drug trafficking charge which could have seen her sentenced to death.


Frenchwoman charged with planting cannabis in Malaysia

An overview of a Filipino immigrant settlement contrasting the skycrapers across the bay in Kota Kinabalu, the state capital of Malaysian Sabah state on Borneo island, March 13, 2002 - by Ahmad Yusni

Melissa Marie Commins, 31, was charged together with a Malaysian, Jon Stephen Mosundu, 24, with planting cannabis at an upmarket condominium unit in Kota Kinabalu on Borneo island, news agency Bernama reported.

The penalty for the offence is life in prison upon conviction. A government official with knowledge of the case confirmed the charge.

The pair were arrested last week, together with two other Malaysians and an Indonesian maid at another unit in the same condominium.

Police seized 36 cannabis plants and half a kilogram (1.1 pounds) of processed cannabis from the units.

One of the others arrested, named by Bernama as Ashley Ng Han, 26, was charged Thursday in a separate court with planting cannabis and drug trafficking, which carries a mandatory death penalty upon conviction.

Malaysia is known for its strict anti-drug laws with hundreds of people currently on death row,  mainly for drug-related offences.

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