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Monday 1 September 2014

Woman launches death penalty appeal

Published 07/05/2013 | 09:36

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Briton Lindsay Sandiford has been sentenced to death by firing squad in Indonesia

A British grandmother facing the death penalty for drug smuggling in Bali has lodged an appeal at Indonesia's Supreme Court, human rights campaigners said.

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Lindsay Sandiford was sentenced to death by firing squad by a court in Indonesia for bringing £1.6 million of cocaine into the country.

The 56-year-old lost her first appeal against the ruling at the Bali High Court last month but has now launched a second bid to overturn the death penalty at the higher court, pressure group Reprieve said.

Balinese police claim Sandiford, from Cheltenham in Gloucestershire, was at the centre of a drugs-importing ring involving three other Britons. She denies the allegations, claiming she was forced to transport the drugs to protect her children, whose safety was at stake.

Sandiford's latest move comes after she lost her appeal over a UK Government refusal to fund her legal challenge. But she has accrued more than £10,000 from public donations through a fundraising web page.

Sandiford, originally from Redcar, Teesside, was arrested at Bali's airport last May after 4.8kg (10.6lb) of cocaine was found in the lining of her suitcase during a routine customs check.

She was later accused of damaging the image of Bali and received the death sentence following her trial. The penalty was imposed despite prosecutors asking only for a 15-year jail term. The British Government said it was disappointed when she lost her bid to block the sentence.

Reprieve's investigator Zoe Bedford said: "We understand that Lindsay's lawyer filed her full grounds of appeal with the Supreme Court today.

"We expect the Supreme Court to make a decision in Lindsay's case within 96 days from today. Lindsay remains extremely grateful to the generosity of the public in raising the funds to allow her to file this appeal.

"We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will take into consideration the compelling mitigating evidence in Lindsay's case and award her a sentence that is proportionate both to the offence and to her role in it. In particular, it is hoped that the judges will give due consideration to Lindsay's cooperation with the authorities which led to the arrest and prosecution of more senior syndicate members, and take into account the need to encourage others to cooperate in the future."

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/foreign-commonwealth-office(Foreign Office)

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