Australian Kelly Trueman to be free after years in Mumbai jail

A MELBOURNE woman locked up in a Mumbai prison for more than two years has been found not guilty of drug trafficking.

Kelly Trueman, 25, was arrested in March 2006 and held on drug possession, carriage and conspiracy charges involving 5.7kg of hashish, The Maroondah Leader reports.

But last night the news came through that she had finally been cleared.
Her father Michael Trueman said he was elated by the decision and believed his daughter would be released from custody soon.

"It has been a long two years and eight months but she has finally been found not guilty and now we'll start our lives again," he said.

Ms Trueman's teeth had rotted and she was forced to share a room with as many as 70 people while in the jail, he said.
Her mother Robyn and sister Lani were in Mumbai for the verdict but Mr Trueman said it may be some time before he was reunited with Kelly.

"It's very likely that I won't be seeing her for some time as she has to get an exit visa from India and that can take up to 12 months," he said.

"It's the sort of thing you can't do a lot about."

The verdict was due last Friday but the proceedings were stopped as terrorists attacked Mumbai.

"My wife and daughter (Lani) were in the court waiting when they heard gunshots outside. The doors were locked and everyone had to lie on the ground," Mr Trueman said.

"My wife doesn't like it much in Mumbai but you need someone there to keep the legal system moving along."

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade this morning confirmed Ms Trueman had been acquitted.

Ms Trueman's family had maintained a website keeping her relatives and friends updated on her condition in the jail.

In a letter posted on the website in June this year she wrote: "One thing that’s quite bizarre to think about, is how normal its become to be living with people who have murdered, with prostitutes, with people who have put children into prostitution, even with people who’ve killed their own children."