As Australia mourns the loss of Bali Nine ringleaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, another young Australian man faces the death penalty overseas.
25-year-old, Peter Gardner, from Sydney, is facing the death penalty in China – and his case has just been mysteriously fast-tracked.
Peter Gardner, an Australian/New Zealand dual national, was detained on 8 November 2014 in Guangzhou, China, when police claim he tried to smuggle 30kg of methamphetamines (ice) out of the country, news.com.au reports.
He was travelling with Australian woman Kalynda Davis at the time of being detained. Ms Davis has since been released without charge.
Related content: Kalynda Davis returns home without charge.
Two bags being checked in by the couple – who reportedly met just weeks prior to the incident via an online dating site – were allegedly found to carry ice inside in 60 vacuum-packed plastic bags.
Now, Gardner’s death penalty case has just been pushed forward six months to May 7 – and his lawyer, Craig Tuck, says the reasons for the fast-tracking is unknown.
News.com.au reports that anyone caught smuggling more than 50g of meth or heroin faces death by firing squad or lethal injection under law in China, which executes thousands of people each year.
Once cases like Gardener’s pass to the courts in China, conviction rates are 99 percent, Nine News reports.
Gardner’s lawyer said the young man has been charged in the very highest level of drug exportation.
Related content: Vale, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan.
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