Model sobs after drug case delayed
A model charged with trying to smuggle almost $A1.9 million of heroin into Ireland has burst into tears during a Pakistani court appearance.
Eight and a half kilos of the drug were discovered inside statues in the 22-year-old's luggage as she prepared to board a flight for Dublin via Abu Dhabi at Lahore airport last January.
The Czech national maintains she was in Pakistan for a modelling assignment and told authorities she had no idea who placed the narcotics in her suitcase.
Two other men were also arrested after police went through Ms Hluskova's phone and are facing drug trafficking charges.
The model has been on bail in Pakistan, but her trial has been repeatedly delayed despite hearing from several witnesses.
She could receive up to 10 years in jail if convicted. The death penalty applies to those caught with over 10kg of drugs.
Authorities allege Ms Hluskova had met a Pakistani man in Manchester, who had set up a fake photography studio.
A customs spokesman told local media: "Once he told Hluskova to visit Pakistan for modelling to promote products of a leading fashion brand, she accepted the offer on the promise of handsome payment.
"She came to Pakistan and resided in Gujranwala for a few days before coming to Lahore airport to fly for Abu Dhabi with the heroin bag given to her."
In a video of her arrest released online, a Pakistani customs official is shown "discovering" the drugs in luggage while Ms Hluskova looks on.
She is then seen putting her head in her hands.
Ms Hluskova later tells the camera: "They gave me something for luggage, three statues or something. They said it was gifts. I didn't know there was something inside."
In a bizarre development last month, a man was jailed for three years and four months in the Czech Republic after threatening terror attacks in Pakistan unless Ms Hluskova was released.
Nikolai Simeonov Ivanov, 21, was found guilty of sending threats by email and text message to a television channel and news website in Pakistan.
He told his trial: "I did not think that anyone would take my messages seriously, especially since I included my telephone number and email address."
The Czech court ordered Bulgarian Ivanov be deported after his sentence was served.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was republished here with permission