British citizen Lindsay Sandiford was sentenced to death by firing squad by Bali’s District Court in Denpasar for drug trafficking.
Sandiford, 56, who was arrested at Bali airport in May 2012, was found in possession of 4.8kg of cocaine, which she had placed in the lining of her suitcase to deceive Bali’s strict customs officers.
Formerly of Gloucestershire, Sandiford told the court she had been forced into drugs trafficking by drug barons who has threatened the lives of her children.
The courtroom was stunned by the verdict, which will see Sandiford executed for her crimes that normally receive a 15-year prison sentence. While there are currently a number of British citizens serving drugs sentences on death row, but it was previously thought that many would be released after serving a portion of their sentence.
However, judges on the Sandiford case said there were ‘no mitigating circumstances,’ despite claims Sandiford was coerced, and they said she ‘did not appear to care about the consequences of her actions.’
The consequences, as described by the judges were concerned with damage to Bali’s image as a tourist destination and ‘weakened the government’s anti-drugs programme.’
At the time of Sandiford’s arrest she was considered to have been the centre of a drugs trafficking ring along with three other British citizens.
Julian Ponder from Brighton, who was arrested around the same time as Sandiford, is believed to have collected cocaine from her, for which he was given a sentence of just six years.
The British human right’s charity Reprieve has called the sentence ‘deplorable’ and have said Sandiford was “targeting by drug traffickers who exploited her vulnerability and made threats against her children.”
Sandiford has appealed to the foreign office for help but she does not have the finances to continue a legal battle for her life.
“Without the government’s help,” said a Reprieve spokesperson, “Ms Sandiford faces being executed by firing squad.
Source: The Guardian