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Death row Briton in Bali loses bid for government funds

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

A British grandmother on death row for trafficking drugs into Bali lost her attempt on Monday to get the government in London to fund a last-ditch appeal against her sentence.

Three Court of Appeal judges upheld a previous court ruling that the British government was not obliged to pay for an "adequate lawyer" for 56-year-old Lindsay Sandiford.

The Foreign Office has refused as a matter of policy.

Sandiford was sentenced to death in Indonesia in January after cocaine with a street value of $2.4 million was found in her suitcase as she arrived on the resort island of Bali last May.

The verdict was a shock as prosecutors had recommended jailing her for 15 years.

Police said Sandiford was at the centre of a drugs-importing ring involving three other Britons, but she claimed she was forced to transport the drugs in order to protect her children whose safety was at stake.

The Court of Appeal in London heard that Sandiford needs about £8,000 (9,400 euros, $12,200) to continue her fight against her death sentence, and only £2,000 had so far been raised.

In a statement issued by the legal charity Reprieve ahead of Monday's ruling, Sandiford said she was "desperate".

"My family has done all they possibly can to support me and nobody could ask anyone to do more," she said.

She added: "If I should die -- and I hope I don't, but I fear I may -- then I hope that my execution will prompt the British government to do more for others."

Sandiford lost her first appeal to the Bali High Court on April 8 after a closed hearing of three judges decided the lower court's original sentence had been "accurate and correct".

Her lawyer Fadillah Agus said she would lodge an appeal with Indonesia's highest court on Tuesday or Wednesday this week.

If the Supreme Court rejects her appeal, she can seek a judicial review of the decision from the same court. After that, only the president can grant her a reprieve.

Most people handed the death penalty for drugs offences in Indonesia fail to get their sentences lifted on appeal and face a long wait in jail before being taken to a remote, undisclosed location at night and executed by firing squad.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130422/death-row-briton-bali-loses-bid-government-funds