The online state media outlet Vietnamnet quoted the People’s High Court in Ho Chi Minh City as citing Nguyen Thi Huong’s sincere confession and age for granting leniency. The sentence was reduced to life in prison at the appeals trial on Monday.

Court officials were not available for comment on Tuesday.

Huong was sentenced to death in June after being convicted of trafficking over a kilo of heroin.

She was arrested in December 2014 when checking in for a flight to Australia after the heroin was found hidden in 36 bars of soap in her luggage.

The court originally ruled that the offence was “extremely dangerous to the community” and found her guilty. She would have faced death by lethal injection.

Huong has always maintained her innocence saying the bars of soap were given to her and she planned to take them back to Australia as gifts for family not knowing what was inside.

Vietnam has some of the world’s toughest drug laws where trafficking even small amounts of heroin is punishable by death.

The Associated Press - November 22, 2016