UK woman sentenced to death in Indonesia for drug trafficking

UK woman sentenced to death in Indonesia for drug trafficking

PanARMENIAN.Net - A 56-year-old British woman has been sentenced to death in Indonesia for drug trafficking, according to BBC News.

Lindsay Sandiford was arrested in May last year after Bali police, carrying out a routine customs check, found 4.8kg (10.6lb) of cocaine in the lining of her suitcase.

Sandiford, from Gloucestershire, has insisted she was set up and coerced into bringing the drugs to the island. Her lawyers said they were "surprised" at the verdict and will appeal. Sandiford was held after a flight from Bangkok, Thailand.

Prosecutors had recommended a 15-year sentence of imprisonment.

But the judges said there were no mitigating circumstances and the defendant did not appear to care about the consequences of her actions They said Sandiford has damaged the image of Bali as a tourism destination and weakened the government's anti-drugs program.

Sandiford's lawyer said it was very rare that judges delivered a sentence so much harsher than the prosecution had recommended.

Sandiford, who is originally from Redcar in Teesside, was accused of being at the centre of a ring involving three other Britons.

Last year, Paul Beales was sentenced to four years for possession of drugs and Rachel Dougall was jailed for one year for failing to report a crime.

The drug possession trial of Julian Ponder, from Brighton - who is believed to be Dougall's partner - is still taking place. He is alleged to have collected cocaine from Sandiford.

A spokeswoman for the Foreign 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."

Indonesia has some of the toughest anti-drug laws in the world.

Five foreigners have been executed in Bali since 1998, all for drug crimes, according to Australia's Lowy Institute for International Policy.

Most of the 40 foreigners currently on death row have been convicted of drug crimes but there have been no executions for any offences since 2008.

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