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Bali Drugs: Death Sentence for Briton Lindsay Sandiford

by on January 23, 2013

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21137649  continue to read the whole article…

Bali drugs: Death sentence for Briton Lindsay Sandiford

 

 
 

The BBC’s Karishma Vaswani says there were gasps from the court as the sentence was passed

A 56-year-old British grandmother has been sentenced to death by firing squad in Indonesia for drug trafficking.

Lindsay Sandiford was arrested at Bali’s airport in May last year after 4.8kg (10.6lb) of cocaine was found in the lining of her suitcase during a routine customs check.

Sandiford, whose last UK address was in Gloucestershire, said she was coerced into bringing the drugs to the island.

Foreign Office minister Hugo Swire has condemned the sentence.

He told MPs the government strongly objected to the death penalty imposed.

Her lawyers have said they were “surprised” at the verdict and would appeal. Prosecutors had recommended a 15-year sentence of imprisonment.

  • 2009 – Samantha Orobator sentenced to life in Laos for heroin smuggling. Spared death penalty after becoming pregnant in prison and later transferred to UK jail
  • 1993 – Sandra Gregory given death penalty in Thailand for heroin smuggling, later transferred to UK jail after sentence commuted to 25 years imprisonment
  • 1989 – Derrick Gregory hanged in Malaysia for heroin smuggling

Cheltenham MP Martin Horwood said the verdict was unexpected and “very worrying” and he would seek to raise the sentence with Foreign Secretary William Hague.

“I’m appalled by this development,” he told the BBC.

“We had been given encouraging signals by the Indonesian ambassador that Indonesia was moving away from the death penalty, that this was something that was associated with the days of the dictatorship, long since past.”

Meanwhile, Sebastian Saville, the former chief executive of the human rights charity Release, said the sentence was “utterly deplorable”.

But he said: “There are many people executed every year in local countries – Thailand, Cambodia – for much smaller amounts of drugs…. So it does not fall out of the remit for someone caught with 5kg of cocaine to be given the death sentence.”

He added: “If we took a referendum in this country… should people caught with 5kg of cocaine be executed, yes or no… I think you’d be surprised about the number of yeses, as we live in a world which believes in punishment

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