Indonesia sentences British grandmother to death in drug bust
BALI, Indonesia — An Indonesian court sentenced a British grandmother to death on Tuesday for smuggling cocaine worth $2.5 million in her suitcase onto the resort island of Bali — even though prosecutors sought only a 15-year sentence.
Lindsay June Sandiford, 56, wept when judges handed down the sentence and declined to speak to reporters on her way back to prison, covering her face with a floral scarf. She claimed in court that she was forced to take the drugs into the country by a gang that was threatening to hurt her children.
Indonesia, like many Asian countries, is very strict on drug crimes, and most of the more than 40 foreigners on its death row were convicted of drug charges.
Sandiford's lawyer said she would appeal, a process that can take years. Condemned criminals face a firing squad in Indonesia, which has not carried out an execution since 2008, when 10 people were put to death.
A verdict is expected in the trial of Sandiford's alleged accomplice, Briton Julian Anthony Pounder, on Tuesday. He is accused of receiving the drugs in Bali, which has a busy bar and nightclub scene where foreigners buy and sell party drugs such as cocaine and Ecstasy. Two other British citizens and an Indian have been convicted and sentenced to prison in connection with the bust.
In London, British Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire told lawmakers that the government strongly opposes Sandiford's sentence.
Martin Horwood, a member of Parliament representing Sandiford's Cheltenham constituency in western England, called the sentence a shock and said he would raise the case with Foreign Secretary William Hague.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Teen girls found no roadblock to flights
- Gunman in Ottawa attack had been waiting for passport to go to Syria
- U.S. airstrikes beat back Islamic State’s push for Mosul dam
- China’s Communist Party angles to improve judiciary
- Saudis tell women: Don’t defy and drive
- Deadly crash into train station prompts crackdown in Jerusalem
- NATO chases Russian aircraft
- Camel likely killed wildlife park owner who didn’t give him can of Coke
- Shiites killed in series of attacks on Baghdad
- U.S. losing drug war in Afghanistan despite $7.6B eradication effort, inspector general reports
- Canadians more fearful, aware after ‘very rare’ attack in Ottawa