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Indonesian court sentences British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford to death for smuggling cocaine into Bali

An Indonesian court has sentenced British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford to death for smuggling $2.5 million worth of cocaine in her suitcase onto the resort island of Bali.

Indonesia Lindsay June Sandiford Enlarge
Lindsay June Sandiford (C) of Britain leaves a holding cell to the prison after her trial at a court in Denpasar on the Indonesian resort island of Bali on January 22, 2013. An Indonesian court on January 22 sentenced 56-year-old Sandiford to death for smuggling cocaine into the resort island of Bali. (SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP/Getty Images)

An Indonesian court has sentenced British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford to death for smuggling $2.5 million worth of cocaine in her suitcase onto the resort island of Bali.

Prosecutors had sought only a 15-year sentence for Sandiford, 56, who wept when judges in the Denpasar district court handed down the sentence, the Associated Press reported.

Sandiford, originally from Redcar in Yorkshire, was arrested by Bali police in May with 10.6 pounds of cocaine in the lining of her suitcase on a flight from Bangkok, Thailand.

Sandiford has maintained that she was forced to bring the drugs into Indonesia by a gang that was threatening to hurt her children, Scotsman.com reported

The International Business Times quoted Sandiford as saying in a witness statement:

"I would like to begin by apologizing to the Republic of Indonesia and the Indonesian people for my involvement. I would never have become involved in something like this but the lives of my children were in danger and I felt I had to protect them."

Britain has come out against the sentence.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office said via a spokeswoman:

"We can confirm that a British national is facing the death penalty in Indonesia... The UK remains strongly opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances."

Indonesia has a strict policy on drugs: Of the more than 40 foreigners on Indonesia's death row, most have been convicted on drug charges.

However, Indonesia has not carried out an execution since 2008.

Head judge on the panel that sentenced Sandiford, Amser Simanjuntak, reportedly said:

"We found no reason to lighten her sentence."

Sandiford's lawyer said she would appeal. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/indonesia/130122/indonesian-indonesia-bali-drugs-cocaine-death-sandiford-yorkshire