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Drug Smuggling English Woman Sentenced in Bali to Death Before a Firing Squad

Bali News: Bali, Indonesia, Death Sentence, narcotics, Paul Beales, Rachel Dougall, Julian Ponder, Amser Simanjuntak, Lindsay Sandiford, U.K., United Kingdom
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A 56-year-old U.K. grandmother, Lindsay Sandiford, has been sentenced to death before a firing squad for smuggling cocaine worth some £1.6 million through Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport.

Lindsay Sandiford, originally from Teeside in the U.K., was arrested with nearly 5 kilograms of cocaine concealed in her suitcase’s lining.

While prosecutors had demanded a prison sentence of 15-years for Sandiford, the panel of judges imposed the maximum sentence of death, citing the amount of drugs involved and the damage the woman’s crime had caused to Bali’s image. 

The woman, who claimed she acted as a courier of the drugs because of threats made against one of her children by the people who dispatched her to Bali with the drugs, wept while the judge read the death sentence.

It is widely expected that Sandiford will file an appeal of her death sentence. If all avenues of legal appeal are exhausted, Sandiford can then appeal for clemency to Indonesia’s President.

Delivering the sentence, a panel headed by Judge Amser Simanjuntak said, "We found no reason to lighten her sentence," he added.

Three other Britons involved in the drug smuggling case with Sandiford are or have been tried separately the courts in Bali.

Julian Ponder accused as the man designated to receive the drugs from Sandiford could be executed for his crime once his trial concludes.

Ponder’s partner, Rachel Dougall, also from the U.K., was sentenced to one-year in prison after being arrested with a small quantity of drugs in her possession.

Another man, property developer Paul Beales, was sentenced to four-years in prison for being arrested with a small quantity of hashish.

Australia’s Lowy Institute for International Policy says around 40 foreigners now reside on death row awaiting execution in Indonesia. Five foreigners have been executed in Indonesia since 1998. No executions have taken place in Indonesia since 2008, a year in which 10 people were put before the firing squad.

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