A young woman who was sentenced to death in Thailand for drug smuggling is hoping she might be freed after her American former boyfriend came forward and admitted he was responsible for the crime that saw her arrested.
Blonde Ashley Oosthuizen moved to Thailand from South Africa in 2018 shortly after finishing school.
She was arrested on 8th October 2020 and initially received the death sentence in Thailand for drug-related charges.
Following a subsequent appeal, her sentence was commuted to life behind bars in August 2021.
The 22-year-old South African woman has always maintained her innocence, and her ex-boyfriend, who reportedly now lives in the USA, has now come forwards, claiming she was jailed because of his activities.
The man, name not disclosed, contacted the South African newspaper George Herald and also issued a statement saying that Oosthuizen has been wrongly imprisoned.
When a George Herald journalist asked him why he did not return to Thailand to admit his guilt, he is quoted as saying: “Because accepting a life sentence for importing harmless MDMA for consenting adults after governments just forcibly vaccinated [millions] against their will with experimental cocktails would be bowing to tyrants. I do not bow to tyrants.
“Had I come sooner, no one would listen. Now that I have websites, a business, a book, and more, now Ashley can no longer be ignored.”
He added: “Ashley’s only crime was being my girlfriend.”
According to reports, Oosthuizen met the man at a Halloween party in 2019 when she was 19 years old and he was 32.
He said he used to arrange for drugs packages to be mailed to the school where Oosthuizen worked before she lost the job and started employment at a restaurant.
Like with the school, the man said he would arrange for the drugs to be mailed and collected before the end of the day. He said his then-girlfriend was unaware of what was happening.
When she was arrested, she had just accepted a package from a courier on behalf of her boyfriend’s pal.
Officers arrived 10 minutes later and reportedly found 250 grammes of MDMA in the package.
Oosthuizen has also launched an appeal against her life sentence, which is expected to go to court this year.
Her mother Lynn Blignaut told the George Herald: “Ashley is in excellent health because He [God] sustains her in all ways and provides for her. We would not have been able to stand so strong every day if it wasn’t for mercy and grace from God. We can now only wait for her next appeal.”
South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) said it is aware of Oosthuizen’s case and is supporting her family.
DIRCO spokesperson Clayson Monyela said: “The department, as well as the SA Embassy in Bangkok, is providing her and her family in South Africa with the standard consular assistance applicable to such cases.
“The SA Government is not in a position to intervene in any legal aspects, court hearings and judicial processes in a foreign country.”