British gran Lindsay Sandiford launches Bali death penalty appeal after drug smuggling conviction

Sandiford says she was forced to transport drugs to protect her children

A British grandmother facing the death penalty for drug smuggling in Bali has lodged an appeal at Indonesia's Supreme Court, human rights campaigners said.

Lindsay Sandiford was sentenced to death by firing squad by a court in Indonesia for bringing £1.6 million of cocaine into the country.

The 56-year-old lost her first appeal against the ruling at the Bali High Court last month but has now launched a second bid to overturn the death penalty at the higher court, pressure group Reprieve said.

Balinese police claim Sandiford, from Cheltenham in Gloucestershire, was at the centre of a drugs-importing ring involving three other Britons.

She denies the allegations, claiming she was forced to transport the drugs to protect her children, whose safety was at stake.

Sandiford's latest move comes after she lost her appeal over a UK Government refusal to fund her legal challenge.

But she has accrued more than £10,000 from public donations through a fundraising web page.

Sandiford, originally from Redcar, Teesside, was arrested at Bali's airport last May after 4.8kg (10.6lb) of cocaine was found in the lining of her suitcase during a routine customs check.

She was later accused of damaging the image of Bali and received the death sentence following her trial. The penalty was imposed despite prosecutors asking only for a 15-year jail term.

The British Government said it was disappointed when she lost her bid to block the sentence.

Sandiford could seek a judicial review if the Supreme Court rejects her appeal though this would largely depend on whether new evidence had come to light, human rights campaigners said.

After that, her final resort would be to seek a reprieve granted by the country's president.

AP

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