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Indonesian court sentences Japanese grandfather to life in prison for smuggling in drugs

  • Japanese national Masaru Kawada, center, is mobbed by the media upon arrival for his sentencing hearing at the district court in Pariaman, West Sumatra, Indonesia Wednesday, May 20, 2015. Kawada was sentenced to life in prison for smuggling 2.35 kilograms (5.18 lbs) of crystal methamphetamine into the country in November 2014. (AP Photo/Rivo Andries)

    Japanese national Masaru Kawada, center, is mobbed by the media upon arrival for his sentencing hearing at the district court in Pariaman, West Sumatra, Indonesia Wednesday, May 20, 2015. Kawada was sentenced to life in prison for smuggling 2.35 kilograms (5.18 lbs) of crystal methamphetamine into the country in November 2014. (AP Photo/Rivo Andries)  (The Associated Press)

  • Japanese national Masaru Kawada, left, sits on the defendant's chair during his sentencing hearing at the district court in Pariaman, West Sumatra, Indonesia Wednesday, May 20, 2015. Kawada was sentenced to life in prison for smuggling 2.35 kilograms (5.18 lbs) of crystal methamphetamine into the country in November 2014. (AP Photo/Rivo Andries)

    Japanese national Masaru Kawada, left, sits on the defendant's chair during his sentencing hearing at the district court in Pariaman, West Sumatra, Indonesia Wednesday, May 20, 2015. Kawada was sentenced to life in prison for smuggling 2.35 kilograms (5.18 lbs) of crystal methamphetamine into the country in November 2014. (AP Photo/Rivo Andries)  (The Associated Press)

An Indonesian court has sentenced a Japanese grandfather to life imprisonment for smuggling methamphetamine into the country.

Masaru Kawada, 73, was arrested in November at Minangkabau Airport in West Sumatra's capital Padang, after customs officials found 2.35 kilograms (5.18 pounds) of crystal methamphetamine in his luggage.

The District Court in Pariaman found Kawada guilty on Wednesday of violating anti-drug law.

Prosecutors had sought a 16-year sentence for Kawada, who argued that he was deceived by someone who asked him to carry a bag and that he did not know he was carrying drugs. His lawyer said they would appeal.

Indonesia has extremely strict drug laws and often executes smugglers. More than 130 people are on death row, mostly for drug crimes. About a third of them are foreigners.