Ashley Oosthuizen from George in the Western Cape, who was arrested by Thai police in October 2020, is eligible to be considered for a royal pardon, which would be granted on important occasions.
According to the legal dictionary, a royal pardon is the forgiveness of a crime or offence by the Crown. It remains as an institution in the UK as in many other monarchies such as Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Cambodia and Thailand.
In former times a pardon might be a free pardon with no other sentence or a conditional pardon where transportation might be substituted for hanging. In the UK it remains an exercise of the royal prerogative but is considered part of the justice system.
According to a report by the Bangkok Post, Oosthuizen was being treated properly in prison, in line with internationally-accepted human rights principles.
Thawatchai Chaiyawat, deputy director-general of the Department of Corrections, told the publication that she has already received three shots of the Covid-19 vaccine and is now teaching yoga to other inmates.
“Oosthuizen remains in good spirits and gets along well with other inmates, many of whom are foreigners,” he said.
She was originally sentenced to death, but this has since been commuted to life imprisonment for drug smuggling.
In May last year, the court handed Oosthuizen the death penalty that was then commuted to a life sentence, which she is currently serving at Nakhon Si Thammarat Central Prison.
She is in the process of appealing her sentence, a process that could go on for months.
After matriculating in 2017, Oosthuizen moved to Thailand in March 2018 to do a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) course.
Ashley Oosthuizen’s mom, Lynn Blignaut, earlier said the family said they believe their daughter is innocent, and their representatives are doing everything they can to prove it.
Ashley’s appeal has been filed with the Court of Appeals.
Oosthuizen lost her job during the pandemic and her American boyfriend,35, offered her a job at his restaurant.
While working at the restaurant, she had accepted and signed for a package containing the drug MDMA.
She was subsequently reportedly arrested on October 8, 2020, by Thailand police.
The 35-year-old has since come forward to say that the drugs Oosthuizen was arrested in connection with belonged to him.4
In a lengthy statement, he detailed how he ran a drug operation on the island without her knowledge.
A website, which detailed Oosthuizen’s ordeal, appeared and it is believed that the boyfriend set it up. The website seemingly meant to raise awareness about Oosthuizen’s arrest and raise funds for her legal battles.
Oosthuizen’s family cautioned the public against donating to the website.