|British cocaine grandma appeals Bali conviction
A British grandmother convicted for smuggling cocaine into the resort island of Bali filed an appeal today against her death sentence by firing squad, a court official said.
Lindsay Sandiford, 56, was handed the death penalty last Tuesday for smuggling almost five kilos of cocaine worth US$2.4 million into Indonesia last May.
“Today, she officially submitted a statement to the prison saying she would file an appeal. The prison then contacted us,'' Denpasar district court registrar Gede Ketut Rantam told AFP. “She filed the statement on her own and so far she has not appointed a lawyer.’’
When contacted, her defense lawyer during the trial, Esra Karokaro, said he had neither met Sandiford nor had she contacted him over the appeal since the sentencing.
The appeals process in Indonesia typically takes several years to complete, including protracted hearings at the High Court and Supreme Court, before the final resort of seeking presidential clemency.
Authorities had claimed Sandiford was at the center of a drugs ring, which had been described as “huge international syndicate.’’
She was found guilty of carrying the cocaine into the country in a suitcase, on a flight from Bangkok, but argued that she was coerced and that her children had been threatened.
After Sandiford's arrest three other Britons were detained in connection with the same drugs ring, but two of them were cleared of trafficking charges and received light sentences.
A third one, Julian Ponder, will be sentenced tomorrow. He was also cleared of smuggling charges and now faces a lesser charge of drug possession, which is punishable by life imprisonment instead of death. Prosecutors recommended a seven-year sentence.