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German sentenced to death in Malaysia for drug trafficking

A German man has been sentenced to death by a Malaysian court after being found guilty of possession of methamphetamine. He was arrested in 2011 with 1.5 kilograms (3.3 pounds) of the drug on his person.

The high court outside Kuala Lumpur rejected defense for German national Bebou A.B., his lawyer said Friday. He'd claimed he only had possession of the drugs after they were handed to him by an acquaintance in Syria five days prior for delivery to a third party.

“[The judge] didn't believe his story ... that his bag was intended for his girlfriend," Karpal Singh told the AFP news agency, adding that the ruling would face an appeal.

Bebou A.B., 40, was arrested on January 11, 2011 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in possession of the drugs. Under Malaysian law, anyone with more than 50 grams of methamphetamine is considered a trafficker.

The man is being looked after by the German embassy, according to a spokeswoman for the German foreign office, who added that Germany has for many years been against the death penalty and reiterates that position in this case "with complete emphasis."

Two other German nationals were acquitted in May for drug smuggling in a separate case. Along with another man, they had been accused of bringing methamphetamine into Malaysia in 2012.

The third man from Morocco was sentenced to death.

ph/dr (AFP, dpa)

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