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Thread: British woman Lindsay Sandiford sentenced to death for drug trafficking

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    Elite Member Honey's Avatar
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    Default British woman Lindsay Sandiford sentenced to death for drug trafficking



    She pulled a floral sarong over her head to shield herself from the TV cameras, but Lindsay Sandiford’s sobs betrayed her shock and grief today as a Balinese court sentenced the Briton to death for trying to smuggle cocaine into the Indonesian resort island.
    Sandiford, 56, had known her penalty would be harsh: Indonesia is notorious for its uncompromising treatment of drug offenders. But prosecutors had sought a 15-year jail term, so when the panel of judges announced she would face a firing squad, it must have come as a cruel bolt from the blue.

    The former legal secretary from Redcar, Cleveland, was arrested at Bali’s Ngurah Rai airport last May after customs officers found 4.8kg of cocaine in the lining of her suitcase. She was put in an orange prison uniform and paraded in front of the media, along with the haul of Class A drugs.
    Police had already dangled in front of her an offer of leniency, in exchange for her helping them to net other alleged members of her smuggling ring. She accepted the offer, reportedly after considering it over a bowl of nasi goreng (fried rice with chicken and soy sauce) in a hotel room in the capital, Denpasar.
    A sting operation led to the arrest of three other Britons – Rachel Dougall, 39, her partner, Julian Ponder, 43, and Paul Beales, 39 – and an Indian, Nandagopal Akkinemi.
    However, a lack of evidence linking them with Sandiford led to Beales receiving a four-year sentence last month for cannabis possession and Dougall being jailed for 12 months for failing to report a crime.

    A verdict is expected in Mr Ponder’s trial tomorrow. He is charged with receiving the cocaine in Bali, which – despite publicity about the draconian penalties – has a thriving drugs scene, focused on bars and nightclubs frequented by foreigners.
    Face drawn, hair tied back, the bespectacled Sandiford cut a pitiful figure in Denpasar District Court, where she was accompanied by a Balinese translator and her sister, Hillary Parson.

    Earlier, she had told the court that she acted as a courier only because “the lives of my children were in danger”. In interviews, she said she was forced to carry the drugs into Bali from Bangkok by a UK-based drugs gang that had threatened to kill one of her sons. The court also heard that she had mental health problems.
    Jennifer Fleetwood, a University of Kent expert on the role of women in the international drug trade, testified that her vulnerability “may have unfortunately made her an attractive target for threats, manipulation and coercion”.
    Despite all that, and her previously clean record and co-operation with police, the judges declared there were “no mitigating circumstances”. She had tarnished Bali’s image as a tourism destination and obstructed the government’s fight against drugs, they added. The arcane workings of Indonesian justice are often baffling to outsiders.

    Sandiford’s lawyers said they would almost certainly appeal, and they may be successful – death sentences are often commuted to long prison terms and Indonesia has not executed anyone since 2008. There are at least 40 foreigners on death row, most of them convicted of drug crimes, according to a report in March last year by Australia’s Lowy Institute for International Policy.
    Sandiford’s sentence was condemned by Reprieve, a charity that campaigns for prisoners’ human rights, and Amnesty International, which described the use of the death penalty for a non-lethal crime as “cruel in the extreme”.
    The Foreign Office said Sandiford would continue to receive consular assistance.

    British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford weeps as she is sentenced to death by Indonesian court for drug trafficking - Asia - World - The Independent

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    Elite Member BITTER's Avatar
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    Could she have been set up?
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    Elite Member CornFlakegrl's Avatar
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    Even if she wasn't set up, death by firing squad for being a coke mule? That's crazy.

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    Elite Member Laurent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Honey View Post
    She had tarnished Bali’s image as a tourism destination
    She couldn't being doing more than the government is doing to itself. See, nothing makes me not want to visit a place more than knowing you could be put to death for a drug crime. Someone puts some shit in your bag without your knowledge and you're looking at the business end of a rifle? Pass.
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    Elite Member Waterslide's Avatar
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    I totally agree with everything you said, Laurent.

    As I was reading the article, I actually hoped she had some kind of mental health issue (not that it helps, apparently), because I can't imagine what would possess someone personally to risk this. It's so dangerous to do that there. It's not even worth it, and it kind of makes me believe that she was set up in some way. And those Balinese judges don't mess around with their own bullshit, do they? I see that it's easier to send a defenseless older foreign lady to the firing squad than it is to fight the local drug lords who really are getting the drugs where they need to be which is more than likely the tourists noses and veins. And the death penalty for something like this? I can't wrap my brain around it. This is all fucked up.
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    A*O
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    Almost 5kg is a LOT of coke. What kind of shady people were she or her son(s) mixing with to set this whole smuggling /blackmail thing up in the first place. Everyone knows the Balinese have a zero tolerance approach and very harsh punishments. Being a helpless little old lady isn't a defence.
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    Elite Member Waterslide's Avatar
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    For my own piece of mind, I want her to have been set up. But, I absolutely agree it does appear there was some nasty business going on that got her in this predicament in the first place. You don't go to other countries and break their rules, or this is how it ends. I think the overly long jail sentences for this kind of thing are bad enough, much less a firing squad.

    Also seems to me that the Balinese can use this to their advantage - see, we'll even shoot an old lady for drug trafficking. It doesn't give a lot of hope for leniency for anyone else that might try the same thing.
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    Elite Member Sarzy's Avatar
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    I don't think it was a set up. She knew what she was doing. But still, the death penalty for that is crazy. I hope she'll get a reprieve.
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    I was listening to the news yesterday and they were talking about this, they had some people who are familiar with the law over there who said they were surprised at the severity of the sentence too. They reckoned she'll get her appeal and just do some jail time, but that the judge wanted to make an example out of her. I think this punishment is too harsh, but she should be jailed. You go somewhere like that, you know what the laws are. Is the money really worth the risk?
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    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    Dumbass.
    Kathie_Moffett likes this.
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    Elite Member Waterslide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karistiona View Post
    I was listening to the news yesterday and they were talking about this, they had some people who are familiar with the law over there who said they were surprised at the severity of the sentence too. They reckoned she'll get her appeal and just do some jail time, but that the judge wanted to make an example out of her. I think this punishment is too harsh, but she should be jailed. You go somewhere like that, you know what the laws are. Is the money really worth the risk?
    I don't think it's ever worth the risk of being put in one of these prisons, which is why it amazes me people still do it.
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    Elite Member Sarzy's Avatar
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    Stupid people will always risk these things, no matter what the punishment imo. They don't think they'll get caught. The death penalty and being locked up in solitary 23hrs a day doesn't seem to put criminals off in the US either.
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    A*O
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    This is fuelled by the mistaken idea that if foreign visitors are caught smuggling drugs they are entitled to more leniency because these draconian rules don't apply in their home countries so they shouldn't apply in Bali either. Remember howls of bogan outrage when famous Aussie pothead Schapelle Corby was busted carrying a big bag of dope into Bali and jailed for 20 (?) years. She's still proclaiming her innocence despite the fact she was caught red handed and comes from a notorious druggie family who've been growing top quality Queensland dope and exporting it to potheads in Bali for years.
    Kathie_Moffett and Waterslide like this.
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    Elite Member Waterslide's Avatar
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    I absolutely don't get the foreigners-should-get-leniency thing at all, people thinking that drives me crazy.
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    Elite Member ConstanceSpry's Avatar
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    This sort of thing is yet another reason why drugs should be legalized everywhere.
    On a different note, a 56 year old is now considered an old lady?
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