British Grandma Gets Death for Drugs

DENPASAR

Lindsay June Sandiford, a British citizen, will be sentenced to death for attempting to smuggle 4.7 kilograms of cocaine into Bali.

“The defendant is guilty of attempting to smuggle cocaine into Bali,” said Judge Amser Simanjuntak, during a court session.

The penalty is heavier than the prosecutor’s demand for 15 years in jail and a fine amounting to Rp2 billion.

According to Judge Simanjuntak, a heavier penalty had been issued to the British woman because the defendant did not express regret over her actions.

Meanwhile British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford is “devastated” and withdrawn after being sentenced to death for drug smuggling on the Indonesian resort island of Bali, her lawyer said.

Defence counsel Ezra Karokaro said Sandiford had barely spoken since she was sentenced for smuggling nearly 5.0 kilos (11 pounds) of cocaine, in a shock decision after prosecutors had sought only 15 years imprisonment.

“Certainly she was devastated by the verdict. She’s psychologically shaken,” Karokaro said, confirming she would likely appeal the sentence.

Hillary Parsons, Sandiford’s sister who was present at the trial, was also “shocked” at the verdict, Karokaro said.

“Her sister has asked me about the legal procedures required to file an appeal,” he said, adding that he felt the death penalty was “excessive”.

The appeals process in Indonesia typically takes several years to complete, including protracted hearings before judges at the High Court and Supreme Court before the final resort of seeking a presidential clemency.

Sandiford is now being held at the infamous Kerobokan prison – home to Australian drug trafficker Schapelle Corby since 2004 and the “Bali Nine” – a group of Australians caught at the island’s airport with heroin strapped to their bodies.

Indonesia enforces stiff penalties for drug trafficking, but death penalty sentences are commonly commuted to long jail sentences.

Two members of the “Bali Nine” who were arrested in 2005 are currently on death row, while seven others face lengthy jail terms.

Executions in Indonesia are carried out by firing squad, usually at night in isolated and undisclosed locations. The last one was in June 2008, when two Nigerian drug traffickers were shot.

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