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B.C. teacher may face death penalty in Taiwan
CTV.ca News Staff

A Canadian teacher is facing the death penalty in Taiwan after being arrested for allegedly smuggling and trafficking cocaine.

Twenty-eight-year-old Mathieu Forand, from Port Moody, B.C., was arrested Friday night and jailed.

He was allegedly found with cocaine, ecstasy and marijuana.

Friends in Taiwan say the English teacher was throwing a party in his home in the Neihu district of Taipei at the time of the raid, reports the The Vancouver Province newspaper.

His father, Peter Forand of Port Moody, B.C., fears his son may have signed a confession to drug crimes so his visitors won't be caught up in the prosecution.

"From what I've heard, he's signing things without knowing what they are, without having them translated," he told The Province.

Friends say the prosecution is pushing for the death penalty or 25 years in prison, while Forand's lawyer is believed to be arguing for a sentence of 10 to 15 years.

A Canada Foreign Affairs spokesman said the department had been made aware of Forand's arrest.

Taiwan is one of 58 countries worldwide that impose capital punishment, and drug crimes are subject to the death penalty.

Taiwan executed three people last year, down from 32 in 1998 and 24 in 1999, according to Hands Off Cain, a group opposed to the death penalty.

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