UK vows to support death row grandmother after appeal rejected

August 30, 2013 10:20 am
Lindsay Sandiford leaves a holding cell after her trial in Denpasar, Indonesia on January 22, 2013/AFP
Lindsay Sandiford leaves a holding cell after her trial in Denpasar, Indonesia on January 22, 2013/AFP

, JAKARTA, August 30- London vowed Friday to support a British grandmother on death row in Indonesia for drug smuggling as she mulls her next step after the country’s top court rejected her appeal.

Three judges at the Supreme Court Thursday unanimously upheld the death sentence handed down to Lindsay Sandiford in January after she was caught trying to bring $2.4 million worth of cocaine into the resort island of Bali last year.

It was the 57 year old’s second appeal, and she now has just two more chances to get the sentence overturned and avoid the firing squad.

She can seek a judicial review of the top court’s decision, but to do so she must show the judges in her case were negligent or find new evidence to present.

Otherwise, she can appeal to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono for a pardon. Death row convicts in Indonesia rarely succeed in getting their sentences reduced, however.

A spokesman for the British embassy in Jakarta said London would support Sandiford’s efforts.

“In line with our strong opposition to the death penalty in all circumstances, we will consider how to support any application for judicial review or clemency that Lindsay Sandiford chooses to make,” he said.

The death sentence handed to Sandiford came as a shock after prosecutors recommended just 15 years in jail.

Police said she was at the centre of a drugs-importing ring involving three other Britons but Sandiford argued she was forced to transport the drugs to protect her children whose safety was at stake.

Britain has previously raised concerns about Sandiford’s treatment in Bali’s notorious Kerobokan jail, alleging in papers submitted to a court in the island’s capital Denpasar that officials threatened her with a gun and deprived her of sleep

In April, the British grandmother lost her attempt to get the government in London to fund her legal case. Members of the public have donated thousands of pounds (dollars) to help fund her fight.


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