British woman sentenced to death for drug trafficking
Lindsay Sandiford, 56, has been sentenced to death by an Indonesian court for smuggling cocaine to the island of Bali.
She was arrested in May 2012, when customs officers carried out a routine search at Denpasar airport in Bali. Their search revealed the British woman was in possession of 10.6lb of cocaine – worth an estimated $2.5 million – which was hidden in the lining of her suitcase. A court in Bali believes the woman to be part of a drug ring involving three other Britons.
Sandiford, a mother and grandmother, who lives in Teeside has defended herself by saying that she was coerced into the action by a gang who threatened both herself and her children.
Indonesia is renowned by Western standards for its draconian drug policy. An Indonesian death sentence is performed by a ten-man firing squad. A spokeswoman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office stated that: “The UK remains strongly opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances.”
Harriet McCulloch of human rights charity Reprieve, which is providing support to Sandiford, urged the British government to aid her in her appeal.
McCulloch explained: “Lindsay has always maintained that she only agreed to carry the package to Bali after receiving threats against the lives of her family […] She is clearly not a drug kingpin — she has no money to pay for a lawyer, for the travel costs of defence witnesses or even for essentials like food and water.”
Sandiford’s lawyer is confident of the likelihood of an appeal to be launched against the sentence, but this could take several years.