Monday 23 April 2018

Fears for British grandmother as Indonesia readies firing squads

Lindsay Sandiford
Lindsay Sandiford

Phillip Sherwell

Indonesian police have set up "several" firing squads ready for deployment to a notorious prison island as the country finalises preparations for a fresh wave of executions of drug smugglers.

Two British death row inmates, including grandmother Lindsay Sandiford (59), could be among the next batch of prisoners tied to a stake and executed. Commander Aloys Darmanto, the Central Java police spokesman, said yesterday the provincial mobile brigade unit has established several firing squads to be sent when needed to Nusakambangan prison island.

A larger execution ground is also reported to have been prepared as Indonesia is expected to press ahead "within weeks" with putting drug traffickers to death, after a one-year hiatus.

"Everyone is ready, including prison officials," he told the 'Jakarta Globe'.

It was on Nusakambangan last April that 14 convicts were executed, including two Australians, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, who were leaders of the Bali Nine drug trafficking ring.

"All firing squads from the mobile brigade unit are preparing themselves for the execution," Cdr Aloys said.

He refused to reveal how many firing squad members have been trained as that might indicate how many inmates will be executed.

Muhammad Prasetyo, the attorney general, said in April that the next round of executions would be carried out "soon" and that the inmates would include some foreigners currently on death row.

Sandiford was arrested for attempting to smuggle 4.791 kg of cocaine after arriving at Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali from Bangkok in 2013. She is the most high-profile foreigner on death row.

A fellow Briton, Gareth Cashmore (36), was sentenced to death in 2012, a year after he was initially given a punishment of life imprisonment when crystal meth was found in his luggage.

Joko Widodo, the president, ordered the re-implementation of the death penalty after he was elected in 2014, saying that the "war on drugs" was a national priority.

Irish Independent

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