BRITISH GRANDMOTHER LINDSAY SANIDFORD DEATH PENALTY APPEAL DENIED – After attempting to smuggle £1.6 million of cocaine into the Indonesian Island of Bali British Grandmother, Lindsay Sandiford, war given the death penalty by the Bali Court in January 2013.
Last month the British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, appealed to the Indonesian High Court to grant Lindsay Sandiford clemency. In the letter the Foreign Office pointed out a number of mitigating circumstances, including Sandiford’s claims that she was ill treated by interrogators, not given legal representation during questioning and other instances that breached her human rights under International Law.
The High Court has now ruled that Lindsay Sandiford’s application for appeal and clemency has been denied and that she will be executed by firing squad.
The High Court has allowed her lawyers to appeal to the Indonesian Supreme Court in which must be submitted within 14 days.
During her trail Lindsay Sandiford addressed the court and apologised to the Republic of Indonesia and its people for her involvement in the smuggling of narcotics. She also stated that she was coerced into smuggling the drugs as the other members of the gang had threatened the lives of her children if she did not comply.
After her arrest Lindsay Sandiford complied with and helped the Indonesian Authorities to set up a ‘sting’ operation in order to snare the others involved in the smuggling operation. Julian Ponder, 43, Rachel Dougall, 38 and Paul Beales, 40 were all caught and convicted for their crimes however; to the shock and astonishment of many the court handed down sentences of just 1 year for Rachel Dougall and just 6 years and 4 years each for Julian Ponder and Paul Beales respectively.
Julian Ponder, who was perceived as the ringleaders, was confident all along the none of them, apart from Lindsay Sandiford, would receive the death penalty nor be sentenced to long prison sentences. After sentencing many voiced their concerns over corruption due to widespread acknowledgment that Indonesia has extremely high levels of corruption among the authorities and judiciary. Some believe that Ponder, Dougall and Beales provided a large sum of money to ensure their sentencing to be light.
While the Indonesian Government are aware that executing Lindsay Sandiford would have diplomatic repercussions it also makes the Government’s stance on drug smuggling perfectly clear. Lindsay Sandiford was fully aware of the consequences of being caught and despite this knowledge agreed to smuggle the drugs.
All of South East Asia clearly warns anyone travelling in or out of their countries that the death penalty is imposed for the smuggling of narcotics. Thailand is among those who impose the death penalty for such a crime however their system allows for the commuting of death penalty if the accused admits to the crime. In case where a not guilty plea is made and then subsequently found guilty the death penalty is handed down. With respect to foreigners the death penalty is always commuted by the King to life imprisonment in order to protect diplomatic relations.
The Foreign Office has made a statement and said that it will provide documentation to the Supreme Court in a bid to save Lindsay Sandiford’s life. The Foreign Office points out that the British Embassy was not made aware of her arrest for over two weeks and that no legal representation was provided in the initial police interviews or later in further interrogation where Lindsay Sandiford accused the police of threatening her with a gun.
The Foreign Office is now accusing the Indonesian Courts of gross violations to her rights under International Law and the Indonesian Constitutional Law.
The question of Lindsay Sandiford’s fate now lies within the ruling of the Supreme Court. Many feel that diplomatic pressure will result in her sentence being commuted to life. While the death penalty is imposed the Indonesian Authorities have not executed any of its current 114 inmates on death row, of which most are for drug offenses, since 2008.
While I can understand that a life sentence is preferable and that human rights groups and others opposed to the death penalty will petition the courts it is rare that these groups consider the damage that drug smuggling, especially on this scale, does to the people of the country.
As I pointed out in a recent article people need to stand back and look at the damage that it does to the victims of drug abuse. Notices of penalties for drug trafficking are clearly posted and therefore anyone attempting to undertake such a crime is fully aware and should accept the consequences.
While Lindsay Sandiford may have been abused and her human rights violated it remains crystal clear that she attempted to smuggle in £1.6 million of cocaine into the Indonesian knowing that an act would result in the death penalty.
Again, those who oppose the death penalty should take a step back for one moment and consider the misery and death of the victims of drug abuse. One more drug smuggler being executed means one less peddler of death, misery and destruction of family life to innocent people.
These might sound like cold and callous words but before you leave your comments and attack me for having such views take look at this article:
The article shows you the affects that meth abuse has on its victims. Look at the faces carefully and ask yourself if people didn’t traffic drugs how different would their lives have been? While the article focuses on meth abuse it should be noted that ALL drug abuse carries harrowing consequences for the user.
Latest Update: Sunday 14th April 2013 - Lindsay Sandiford Facing Execution in Bali Says She is Ready to Die