Skip to main content

Lindsay Sandiford loses new execution appeal for Bali drug smuggling

By Paul Armstrong, CNN
August 30, 2013 -- Updated 0830 GMT (1630 HKT)
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
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 1239 GMT (2039 HKT)
Sean Connery says "yes," whilst David Beckham says "no." See what the famous are saying about Scotland's referendum.
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 1710 GMT (0110 HKT)
On September 18, Scots go to the polls to vote on the future of their country. Here's what you should know.
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 1720 GMT (0120 HKT)
This is "Flames of War," a slick and ominous new video from the ISIS media center.
September 16, 2014 -- Updated 1903 GMT (0303 HKT)
For years, Morten Storm moved between two worlds. A radical Islamist turned double agent is lifting the lid on some of the world's best-kept secrets.
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 0038 GMT (0838 HKT)
A man abducted alongside killed U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff tells CNN that no one from the U.S. government has tried to talk with him.
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 1508 GMT (2308 HKT)
Mulatu Astatke is the founding father of ethio-jazz: a fusion of Ethiopian music with western jazz.
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 1311 GMT (2111 HKT)
Have you been to these? The global museum list, released Tuesday, ranks 25 of the world's best museums.
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 1703 GMT (0103 HKT)
iOS 8, the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system, comes with new features that you'll enjoy.
September 16, 2014 -- Updated 1253 GMT (2053 HKT)
The Ebola virus, very deadly and currently without a cure, is fast-spreading throughout the small West African country.
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 1213 GMT (2013 HKT)
It's a surfer's paradise -- but Diah Rahayu is out on her own when it comes to professional women's wave-riding in Bali.
September 17, 2014 -- Updated 1004 GMT (1804 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT