INDONESIA: BRITISH WOMAN GETS DEATH SENTENCE FOR DRUG SMUGGLING
January 22, 2013: An Indonesian court sentenced a British woman to death for attempting to smuggle drugs into the resort island of Bali.
Fifty-six-year-old Lindsay Sandiford cried when she heard the sentence, but did not comment as she was escorted back to jail.
Although Indonesia has notoriously strict drug laws, the sentence was harsher than expected. Prosecutors had recommended only 15 years in prison.
A panel of judges at the Denpasar District Court said there was no reason to lighten Sandiford's sentence, saying she had damaged the image of Bali as a tourist destination.
Sandiford was arrested in May at Bali's international airport with 4.8 kilograms of cocaine in the lining of her suitcase. She says a criminal gang threatened to hurt her children if she did not transport the drugs, which had a street value of $2.5 million.
Her lawyer says she will appeal the verdict.
Two other British citizens have received lighter sentences for their role in the case. A fourth is expected to be sentenced at the end of the month. There are around 114 prisoners on death row in Indonesia, at least 40 of them foreigners, most of them convicted of drug crimes. Several are Australians. Five foreigners have been executed since 1998, all for drug crimes but there have been no executions in the country since 2008, when 10 people were put to death. (Sources: voanews.com, 22/01/2013)