x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

British grandmother appeals Bali drugs death sentence

A British grandmother has appealed the death sentence she received in Indonesia for smuggling cocaine worth $2.5 million into the resort island of Bali.

BALI, Indonesia // A British grandmother has appealed the death sentence she received in Indonesia for smuggling cocaine worth $2.5 million into the resort island of Bali, her lawyer said yesterday.

In the appeal filed to the higher court, attorney Fadillah Agus said Lindsay June Sandiford, 56, cooperated with authorities to provide information that led to other convictions. However, her help was not considered by the court.

"She has acknowledged that she did that crime, but the punishment was not fair and out of proportion," Agus said. "She has regretted and apologised and her cooperation with the police led to the arrests of the other suspects."

Sandiford was arrested in May when customs officers at Bali's airport discovered 3.8 kilograms (8.4 pounds) of cocaine in the lining of her luggage. She was convicted and sentenced to death by firing squad even though prosecutors sought just 15 years in jail.

Four others suspects - three Britons and an Indian citizen - were arrested in connection with the case. All have received jail terms ranging from one to six years.

During the trial, Sandiford said she was forced to transport the drugs by a gang that was threatening to hurt her children.

"However, her role as a justice collaborator was not taken into account by the District Court," Agus said. "Rather, she was sentenced to death while those masterminds and actual owners of the cocaine received lighter sentences."

London's High Court last month dismissed a case Sandiford filed against the British government, saying it didn't act unlawfully when it refused to fund her appeal.

Indonesia has very strict anti-drug laws and most of the more than 40 foreigners on its death row were convicted of drug charges. The country has not killed anyone since 2008, when 10 people were put to death, leaving 113 prisoners remaining on death row. But officials have said several executions are expected this year.