Skip to main content

Lindsay Sandiford loses new execution appeal for Bali drug smuggling

By Paul Armstrong, CNN
updated 4:30 AM EDT, Fri August 30, 2013
Lindsay June Sandiford (L) and her sister Hillary Parsons (R) after her trial on the Indonesian island of Bali on January 22, 2013.
Lindsay June Sandiford (L) and her sister Hillary Parsons (R) after her trial on the Indonesian island of Bali on January 22, 2013.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Supreme Court upholds death penalty against Sandiford for drug trafficking
  • Briton convicted of smuggling cocaine worth an estimated $2.6 million in Bali
  • Lawyer "disappointed" with result of appeal, says Sandiford "was only a courier"
  • Two possible options: A judicial review or seeking clemency from president

(CNN) -- Time is running out for a British grandmother facing execution for drug trafficking in Indonesia, after her second appeal was rejected.

Lindsay June Sandiford, 56, was convicted in January of smuggling what officials said was cocaine worth an estimated $2.6 million after she was stopped by customs officials at Ngurah Rai International airport in Bali in May last year.

Sandiford, from northeast England, was found to have blocks of cocaine weighing 4.7 kilograms (10.4 pounds) in her suitcase when she arrived on the island on a Thai Airways flight, the court heard during her original trial.

She received the death sentence despite the fact prosecutors only requested a 15-year prison term.

A subsequent appeal against the sentence handed down by Denpasar District Court was thrown out by the Denpasar High Court in April -- a decision that has now been upheld by the country's Supreme Court, according to the official Antara news agency.

Prison life awaiting Lindsay Sandiford
Grandma on death row for smuggling drugs

"Her appeal was rejected," presiding Judge Artidjo Alkostar said late Thursday, according to Antara.

Three other defendants in the case received jail sentences of six years, four years and a year respectively.

Cooperation

A lawyer representing Sandiford expressed disappointment at the decision.

"We're very disappointed by the Supreme Court's rejection of her appeal. Lindsay was only a courier and a collaborator and cooperated with the police," Fadillah Agus told CNN Friday.

Read: Death penalty is what harms Bali's reputation

"They were able to arrest the other suspects with her help so she should've gotten the lightest sentence," he added. "The other suspects got off with lighter sentences. We are disappointed but we have to honor the court's decision.

"We have two options, a judicial review or seeking clemency from the president. But I have to discuss this first with Lindsay and see what step we should take."

He revealed he last spoke to Sandiford, who remains in prison in Bali, over a month ago. According to Agus, she was keeping herself busy and socializing more with other inmates and prison officials.

Narcotics can massively endanger the young and, thus, whoever is caught with drugs should be severely punished.
Made Wijaya, Bali Customs and Excise

Britain's Foreign and Commonwealth Office, meanwhile, is seeking confirmation of the decision.

"We are aware of unconfirmed reports that the decision of the Indonesian Supreme Court has been announced. We are seeking confirmation of the decision from the Indonesian Supreme Court," a Foreign Office spokesman told Britain's Press Association.

"We will continue to provide consular assistance to Lindsay Sandiford and her family at this difficult time."

Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, has strict laws against drug trafficking.

Severe punishment

The head of Bali's Customs and Excise Agency monitoring division, Made Wijaya, warned at the time of her arrest that Sandiford could likely face execution if convicted.

"The main reason is because narcotics can massively endanger the young and, thus, whoever is caught with drugs should be severely punished. If three people can consume one gram of cocaine, then this operation has potentially saved up to 14,000 lives," he said.

Indonesia has carried out 22 executions since 1998 -- 14 for murder, 5 for narcotics crimes and 3 for terrorism, according to the Lowy Institute for International Policy. Five of the 22 people executed were foreigners; all five were executed for drugs crimes.

According to Lowy, one plea for clemency has succeeded in a capital case since 1990, out of a total of at least 36 pleas.

CNN's Kathy Quiano in Jakarta contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
This looks like a ghost ship, but it's actually the site of a tense international standoff between the Philippines and China.
updated 11:55 AM EDT, Sat July 26, 2014
The reported firing of artillery from Russian territory is a sign Vladimir Putin has escalated the Ukraine battle, says CNN's military analyst Rick Francona.
updated 4:46 AM EDT, Sun July 27, 2014
The young boy stops, stares, throws ammunition casings at the reporter's feet without a word.
updated 8:37 AM EDT, Sun July 27, 2014
A picture taken on June 28, 2014 shows a member of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) putting on protective gear at the isolation ward of the Donka Hospital in Conakry, where people infected with the Ebola virus are being treated. The World Health Organization has warned that Ebola could spread beyond hard-hit Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to neighbouring nations, but insisted that travel bans were not the answer.
The worst ebola outbreak in history spreads out of control in West Africa. CNN's Michael Holmes reports.
updated 8:48 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
Sure, Fido is a brown Lab. But inside, he may also be a little green.
updated 4:06 PM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
ITN's Dan Rivers reports from the hospital where those injured by an attack in Gaza were being treated.
updated 8:15 PM EDT, Sun July 27, 2014
Photograph of an undisclosed location by Patrycja Makowska
Patrycja Makowska likes to give enigmatic names to the extraordinarily beautiful photographs she shoots of crumbling palaces.
updated 4:04 AM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
When the Costa Concordia and its salvage convoy finally depart Giglio, the residents will breathe a sigh of relief -- and shed a tear.
updated 2:08 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
Flight attendants are wearing black ribbons to show solidarity with fallen colleagues in "a tribute to those who never made it home."
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT