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Czech model acquitted in drug trafficking case leaves Pakistan prison

Tereza Hluskova was arrested at the airport in Lahore. (Source: AFP)

PRAGUE: A Czech model sentenced to over eight years in prison for attempting to smuggle heroin in 2019 was released Saturday after her acquittal this month, the Czech foreign minister said.

Tereza Hluskova, 25, was arrested at the airport in Lahore for trafficking nine kilogrammes of heroin in January 2018. Footage released by Pakistani customs officials showed authorities uncovering drugs hidden in her suitcase as she was trying to board a flight headed for the United Arab Emirates.

In March 2019, a sessions court had sentenced Tereza Hluskova to eight years in jail. In April the same year, she had challenged her conviction in the case. She has insisted someone had placed the drugs in her suitcase.

However, a court of appeals acquitted her on November 1, 2021, as “the prosecution failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt”, according to her lawyer Saif ul Malook.

“The Czech citizen was released from prison in Pakistan today,” Czech Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhanek tweeted. “Our embassy will now help her arrange a trip back to the Czech Republic,” he added.

Pakistan shares a long porous border with Afghanistan, which is the world’s largest illicit opium producer despite a decade of costly US and international counter-narcotics programmes. Drug trafficking is a serious offence in Pakistan and arrests at airports are not uncommon.

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