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New hope for Redcar drugs case woman facing death by firing squad
A North-East grandmother may avoid death by firing squad in Bali by being extradited back to Britain.
Lindsay Sandiford, 57, originally from Redcar, has been sentenced to death by a court in Indonesia for bringing cocaine worth £1.6m into the country.
However Foreign Office minister, Baroness Warsi has personally brought up the case with a high-ranking minister in the Indonesian government.
It has been reported Baroness Warsi has asked that Sandiford and another Briton on death row, Gareth Cashmere, to be allowed to serve out jail terms in the UK.
In return Indonesia’s justice minister, Amir Syamsuddin, has asked that Britain extradite Rafat Ali Rizvi, a 52-year-old British national sentenced in his absence to 15 years in 2010 for allegedly stealing funds from Indonesia’s collapsed bank Century.
A spokesman for the Foreign Office did not confirm the details of any proposed deal between Britain and Indonesia, but confirmed a meeting between the ministers had taken place. He said: “We are aware that Lindsay Sandiford is facing the death penalty in Indonesia. We strongly object to the death penalty and continue to provide consular assistance to Lindsay and her family during this difficult time.
“We have made repeated representations to the Indonesia authorities and Baroness Warsi raised Lindsay Sandiford’s case with Amir Syamsuddin, Indonesian Minister of Law and Human Rights on Tuesday, July 30.”
Balinese police claim Sandiford, now of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, was at the centre of a drugs-importing ring involving three other Britons. However she claims she was forced to transport the drugs to protect her children, whose safety was at stake.
The British Government refused to fund Sandiford’s first legal challenge. However she has raised more than £10,000 from public donations through a fundraising web page. The pressure group Reprieve has also taken up her case.
Sandiford was arrested at Bali's airport in May, 2012 after 4.8kg of cocaine was found in the lining of her suitcase.
She has lost her first appeal but in May launched a second bid to overturn the death penalty in the Bali High Court.
Cashmere, a 34-year-old roofer from Wakefield, was convicted for smuggling 14lbs for crystal meth.
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