British grandmother, Lindsay Sandiford it is said to have broken down in tears after learning that Indonesian courts have decided to put her to death for her role in a multimillion dollar drug trafficking operation.
The ruling came after the UK citizen was caught last May entering Indonesia from a flight from Thai capital Bangkok with 5kg (11 pounds) of class A drug cocaine.
At the time state prosecutors had called for Sandiford to be jailed for 15 years which perhaps makes Sandiford’s recent punishment all the more incredulous.
If the judgement actually gets carried out it will see Sandiford led to a jungle clearing on a small island known as ‘Indonesia’s Alcatraz’, where she will be blindfolded, tied to a pole and executed by firing squad.
According to human rights charity group Reprieve, who is helping Sandiford, she is the second British national to be sentenced to death for drug offenses in Indonesia in the last 6 months. Gareth Cashmore, was sentenced to death by firing squad for drugs offences in October.
Despite being caught with the grade A drug and its quantity Sandiford had hoped that she would be spared the death penalty which is customary for those found with it in Indonesia because she had cooperated with authorities and because of her age.
Complicating matters is Sandiford’s assertion that she was coerced into the crime because of threats her children received.
Reports the UK’s dailymail: But in its verdict, a judge panel headed by Amser Simanjuntak concluded that Sandiford has damaged the image of Bali as a tourism destination and weakened the government’s fight against drugs.
‘We found no reason to lighten her sentence,’ he said.
Saniford also has the support of her home country, though it remains to be seen what, if any, diplomatic actions will be taken. A spokeswoman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: “We can confirm that a British national is facing the death penalty in Indonesia. We remain in close contact with that national and continue to provide consular assistance. The UK remains strongly opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances.”
At present it is understood Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire has told MPs the Government ‘strongly object to the death penalty’ and told the Commons she had at least two further avenues of appeal through the courts and also the chance to apply for presidential clemency.
Reflected Sandiford’s lawyer Esra KaroKaro: “We object to the sentence. We never expected that our client would get the death penalty.”
Sandiford had told her lawyer that she believed she had been made the scapegoat in the clandestine operation she was involved in because it was the other three members of the gang who had a bigger role in the operation than herself.
Indonesia has not executed anyone since 2008, when 10 people, including two foreigners, were killed.
There are approximately 100 people on death row, of whom 41 are foreign nationals.
The dailymail also offers the following:
Neighbours on the quiet street in Cheltenham where Sandiford lived were surprised to learn of her fate.
One local resident said: ‘She wasn’t a nice person. She caused a lot of trouble when she lived here, her and her sons. She definitely wasn’t a normal housewife.
‘I don’t know why she got herself into that situation, with all those drugs, but she’s broken the law and has to pay the penalty, I suppose.’
Said Investigator Harriet McCulloch: ‘Lindsay has always maintained that she only agreed to carry the package to Bali after receiving threats against the lives of her family.”
Curious to see what other commentators on the web thought I came across the following provocative comments:
The shape of the package does not excuse the crime. I’m sure granny mule was being well compensated for moving lots of blow. Based on the location, I wonder if she got caught skimming. The emotional suckers will be busy spinning up excuses. If she was male, brown and in her twenties, no one would be lifting a finger.
When in Rome do as the Romans.
It is well known that countries in that area sentence people to death for drug smuggling. She must of known what she was getting into.
Like most of the posters today, I have no sympathy with this stupid woman. Perhaps she thought that she could get away with it because they won’t shoot a granny? She will have deserved whatever punishment she gets and furthermore, I would like to see similar swift retribution to those stupid evil people in the UK who push for the decriminalisation of drug offenders. It is not as though the police could make a mistake about who is pushing or taking drugs, the evidence is so obvious. Yep, the folk in Bali have got it right.
If you don’t want to be executed dont commit a crime…no sympathy
It’s possible she was threatened. It’s possible that she made it up in order to try and save herself.
I think sentencing someone to death for drug smuggling is barbaric, but the US has similar laws on the books so it doesn’t really shock me. If she got caught with that much coke here in the US she’d like be going away for what equates to a death sentence as well.
Sucks all around. Hopefully she either gets her sentenced changed to the prison time or the firing squad does an efficient job.
The idea of executing someone for a drug offense (however serious) is absolute insanity. I know that it is the law in that country, but nobody should ever be put to death for carrying drugs, regardless of the amount.
anyone who travels knows that some countries are very strict in sentencing drug smugglers. How many people would die and how much misery was this woman creating? Please do not hope that I will be outraged or sympathetic to a drug smuggler. Calling her a “grandmother” is meant to devalue the guilt that she bears. They may not execute but decades in an Indonesian prison might make her with that they did. This is Islamic based law there.
I’m kind of curious, do these laws help reduce drug use in indonesia ? Are colleges packed with weed smokers and stuff or not ?
It’s simple she is being made an example of by Bali. The fact this is getting so much attention is why they are sentencing her to death, to scare off traffickers. Will it work though? I don’t know.
how many people would have become hook on this drug had she not have been caught?
how many people would have committed crimes to pay for the drugs?
how many people would have children living in poverty because of these drugs.?
she would be living the life if she had not got caught. a long jail term would be the punishment for her but over their not over here why should we pay for her.
And yet those drugs are sold in shops – do shopkeepers and supermaket workers deserve the same fate? – because at the end of the day thay are selling substances that are more harmfull and cause more deaths.
-And as Islamic nations have the death sentence for many different “crimes”
doesnt also the US?