Lindsay Sandiford Death Penalty:British Grandmother fight with Bali laws / UK News

A British woman has started an appeal against the death sentence she received in Indonesia for smuggling cocaine worth £1.6m into the resort island of Bali.

Lindsay Sandiford, a grandmother from Cheltenham. Gloucestershire, co-operated with the police and local authorities after her arrest last year, actions which led to other arrests being made.

Her lawyer, though, says this was not taken into account by the three judges sentencing her.

In the appeal filed to the Indonesian higher court, Sandiford’s lawyer Fadillah Agus said: “She has acknowledged that she did that crime, but the punishment was not fair and out of proportion.”

He said she had expressed regret and apologised and “her co-operation with the police led to the arrests of the other suspects”.

Sandiford, 56, was arrested in May 2012 at Bali airport when customs officers found almost 5kg (10.6lb) of cocaine in her luggage. She claimed she had been forced to smuggle the drugs into Bali from Thailand by a criminal gang.

Prosecutors announced in December that they would be recommending a 15-year prison sentence after she agreed to co-operate in a sting operation in which police swooped on four other suspects alleged to be her accomplices, including Britons Rachel Dougall, Julian Pounder and Paul Beales.

However, in January she was sentenced to death by firing squad. Dougall, Pounder and Beales have all received sentences ranging from one to six years.

Lindsay Sandiford, originally from Redcar, Teeside, claims she was forced to transport the drugs by gang members who were threatening to hurt her children.

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

The High Court in London last month dismissed a case Sandiford filed against the British Government, saying it did not 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 offences.

The country has not executed anyone since 2008, when 10 people were put to death, leaving 113 prisoners remaining on death row. Officials have said several executions are expected this year.

A response to Sandiford’s appeal could take up to a month and a half.

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