British Government condemns death sentence on Redcar drug trafficker

Darlington and Stockton Times: Lindsay Sandiford Lindsay Sandiford

THE British Government has condemned a decision to impose the death sentence on a North-East woman convicted of drug trafficking in Indonesia.

Lindsay Sandiford, originally from Redcar, is to face a firing squad after being convicted of smuggling 4.8kg of cocaine into Bali.

Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire told the Commons today (Tueaday, January 22) that the Government 'strongly objected' to the death penalty being imposed on Sandiford, who was arrested last May after police found £1.6m worth of drugs in the lining of her suitcase during a routine customs check.

As the death sentence was imposed on her this morning (Tuesday) there was shock in Denpasar District Court.

Even the prosecution had not sought the death penalty, instead asking for a 15-year prison term.

The 56-year-old housewife wept as judges handed down the sentence and refused to speak to reporters on her way back to prison, covering her face with a scarf.

She had previously claimed in court that she was forced into taking the drugs into the country by gangsters who were threatening to hurt one of her children.

Her defence lawyers said she had a history of mental health problems which made her a vulnerable target for criminal gangs.

Delivering the sentence, a panel headed by Judge Amser Simanjuntak concluded that Sandiford had damaged the image of Bali as a tourist destination and weakened the Government’s anti-drugs programme.

Three other Britons were arrested at the same time as her in a sting operation. Paul Beales was jailed for four years last year for possession of drugs, Rachel Dougall jailed for one year for failing to report a crime and Julian Ponder, who received the drugs from Sandiford, is due for sentence tomorrow (Wednesday).

Sandiford's lawyers said that they will appeal within the 14-day limit - arguing that it was most unusual that the judges would overrule the prosecutor's recommended sentence.

Mr Swire told the Commons: "We strongly object to the death penalty and continue to provide consular assistance to Lindsay and her family during this difficult time."

Mr Swire said repeated representations had been made to the Indonesian authorities and Foreign Secretary and Richmond MP, William Hague, had raised the case with his counterpart in the country.

He added: "We understand that under Indonesian law, Lindsay has at least two further avenues of appeal through the courts as well as an opportunity to apply for presidential clemency should these be unsuccessful."

Harriet McCulloch, investigator at human rights charity Reprieve, which is helping Sandiford, said: “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.”

Amnesty International said death by firing squad for a non-lethal crime was “cruel in the extreme”.

There have been no executions in Indonesia since 2008. However, more than a 100 people remain under sentence of death, they said.

Comments (3)

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5:22pm Tue 22 Jan 13

MadammGeeky says...

The Indonesian judicial system is Jurassic.

HERE: www.expendable.tv/20
11/10/bali-trial.htm
l

See how evidence was simply an inconvenience in the Schapelle Corby's case? See what they did to her for refusing a false confession to a crime she didn't commit?

If you resist the bribes, and plead innocence, they crucify you. There is no concept of 'trial' there. None at all.

The police determine the verdict. For example, the so-called "judge" in the Corby case had never acquitted anyone in 500 cases. Not once. Zip.

The sentence itself is determined by bribes to the relevant parties. Whatever you pay will determine what the prosecutor asks for, and then what you get.

This isn't hearsay, foreign governments know it. They stay silent. They appease.

In the Corby case the Australians were so obsessed with hiding systemic corruption at their own airports, and in appeasing Indonesia, that they even suppressed the evidence which proved her innocence. It is there in their own cables. Their own correspondence. It is an unreported scandal.

The result is that we are here.

Instead of confronting Indonesian corruption, foreigner after foreigner is subjected to a show trial, or pays grotesque bribes. The west turns a blind eye.

Now look again at this case. It may not be as it appears.
The Indonesian judicial system is Jurassic. HERE: www.expendable.tv/20 11/10/bali-trial.htm l See how evidence was simply an inconvenience in the Schapelle Corby's case? See what they did to her for refusing a false confession to a crime she didn't commit? If you resist the bribes, and plead innocence, they crucify you. There is no concept of 'trial' there. None at all. The police determine the verdict. For example, the so-called "judge" in the Corby case had never acquitted anyone in 500 cases. Not once. Zip. The sentence itself is determined by bribes to the relevant parties. Whatever you pay will determine what the prosecutor asks for, and then what you get. This isn't hearsay, foreign governments know it. They stay silent. They appease. In the Corby case the Australians were so obsessed with hiding systemic corruption at their own airports, and in appeasing Indonesia, that they even suppressed the evidence which proved her innocence. It is there in their own cables. Their own correspondence. It is an unreported scandal. The result is that we are here. Instead of confronting Indonesian corruption, foreigner after foreigner is subjected to a show trial, or pays grotesque bribes. The west turns a blind eye. Now look again at this case. It may not be as it appears. MadammGeeky
  • Score: 0

7:27pm Tue 22 Jan 13

Daza says...

Justice may be barbaric in Indonesia, but the fact is simple. This woman took a gamble and lost!

I have no doubt if she won 'the gamble'. there would have been several thousand grand waiting for her'.

I see the old cliche of ones 'family being threatened'. has
been wheeled out again!
Justice may be barbaric in Indonesia, but the fact is simple. This woman took a gamble and lost! I have no doubt if she won 'the gamble'. there would have been several thousand grand waiting for her'. I see the old cliche of ones 'family being threatened'. has been wheeled out again! Daza
  • Score: 0

1:10pm Wed 23 Jan 13

behonest says...

Yes, as Daza says, the same old excuses are wheeled out by the defence to try and excuse what she did.

What was it - mentally ill, family threatened by gangsters, body taken over by aliens, etc, etc.

She knew the death penalty could be imposed so she should accept it and stop bleating on. Come on Mrs Sandiford, grow up and take it on the chin (and any other part of your body that the bullets hit).

Bali won't do it though. They'll chicken out and do as the British government tells them to do.
Yes, as Daza says, the same old excuses are wheeled out by the defence to try and excuse what she did. What was it - mentally ill, family threatened by gangsters, body taken over by aliens, etc, etc. She knew the death penalty could be imposed so she should accept it and stop bleating on. Come on Mrs Sandiford, grow up and take it on the chin (and any other part of your body that the bullets hit). Bali won't do it though. They'll chicken out and do as the British government tells them to do. behonest
  • Score: 0

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