Mum on Japan drug charges sees daughter for first time in 18 months

Mum on Japan drug charges sees daughter for first time in 18 months

Donna Nelson has seen her daughter for the first time in the more than 18 months since she was arrested on drug smuggling charges in Japan.

The Perth grandmother spends 23 hours a day in a prison cell in Tokyo and is yet to face trial.

Prison rules prevent Kristal Hilare from visiting her mum inside Chiba jail.

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But today in a Tokyo courtroom, she laid eyes on her mother for the first time in 18 months.

“It just felt so wrong to leave the room and not be able to give her a hug and not be able to say anything to her,” Hilare said.

“We just locked eyes and continued to lock eyes until I left the room.”

Hilare arrived in Tokyo to support her mum during her drug smuggling trial, only to find out it was delayed at the last minute.

Today at a pre-trial hearing, Hilare said her mother looks very different.

“She’s so much smaller,” she said.

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“You can tell that she doesn’t get out in the sun, she looked pale (with) more grey hair.

“She still looked beautiful.”

A strict communication ban remains in place.

Hilare said there was no talking, waving, or doing anything that could be seen to be communicating.

Nelson was arrested at Tokyo Airport in January 2023 with almost two kilograms of meth concealed in a hidden cavity inside her suitcase.

Her legal team will argue she didn’t know and that she was tricked by Nigerian scammers.

In October 2023, 9News was blocked from visiting Chiba prison.

There is still no word on a new trial date.

“She’s come so far, hopefully, it won’t be much longer,” Hilare said.

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