A Czech model sentenced to over eight years in prison for drug trafficking in Pakistan in 2019 was released after her acquittal this month, the Czech foreign minister said on Sunday.
Tereza Hluskova, 25, was arrested at the airport in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore for trafficking nine kilogrammes of heroin in January 2018.
“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.
Footage released by Pakistani customs officials showed authorities uncovering drugs hidden in her suitcase as she was trying to board a flight headed for a Gulf country. She was acquitted in early November by an appeals court in Lahore, the capital of Punjab province.
Hluskova, who had come to Pakistan to work as a model, pleaded she was innocent and that someone else placed the narcotics in her luggage, was sentenced in March 2019 to eight years and eight months in prison and was also fined. But a court of appeals acquitted her on Nov.1 as “the prosecution failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt,” according to her lawyer Saif-ul Malook.
Late in the evening, Hluskova left the prison in the eastern city of Lahore where she was handed over to representatives of the Czech embassy and headed to the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, according to her attorney.
Authorities in Pakistan regularly arrest both Pakistanis and foreigners over drug smuggling. Drug trafficking is a serious offence in Pakistan and arrests at airports are not uncommon.