No reprieve: British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford loses appeal against Bali death sentence

57-year-old's only hope now is to ask President for clemency

A British grandmother sentenced to death in Indonesia for drug trafficking must pin her hopes on a plea for clemency direct to the country’s President after her final legal appeal against execution was rejected unanimously.

Lindsay Sandiford, 57, who was arrested last year with nearly 4kg of cocaine in her suitcase, faces a firing squad unless a reprieve is issued by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono – who has previously made clear his reluctance to show leniency to foreign nationals on death row.

Campaigners said Mrs Sandiford, originally from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, has almost run out of legal options after Indonesia’s Supreme Court today rejected her appeal against the death sentence handed down to her in January by a lower court on the resort island of Bali.

Supporters of the Briton’s case for clemency, who include the former Director of Public Prosecutions Lord Macdonald, have expressed bewilderment at the severity of the sentence imposed upon her in contrast to lesser punishments imposed on other Britons accused alongside her.

Lawyers for Mrs Sandiford have argued that she is a low-ranking drugs “mule” who has been exploited by senior members of the smuggling gang. Julian Ponder, 43, who was not tried for trafficking and sentenced to six years’ imprisonment for drug possession, is alleged to have been the organiser of the shipment carried by the grandmother – a claim he has denied.

Zoe Bedford, of the human rights group Reprieve, said: “It is clear that Lindsay was merely a mule, exploited by those further up the chain who have avoided serious punishment.

“The decision [to dismiss her appeal] is deeply disappointing. Lindsay has repeatedly apologised to the Indonesian people for her actions, which she deeply regrets. She co-operated fully with the police and has never sought to avoid punishment, asking only for a sentence that was proportionate to her offence.”

After she flew into Bali from the Thai capital Bangkok with the cocaine, worth some £1.6m, concealed in her luggage, Mrs Sandiford agreed to assist the authorities, leading them to Mr Ponder and others. As a result of her co-operation, prosecutors asked that she receive a 15-year prison term but the judge at her trial instead sentenced her to death by firing squad.

Under Indonesian law Mrs Sandiford could still seek a judicial review but only if she is able to present new evidence or allege a miscarriage of justice. The sole additional avenue is a presidential pardon, which the grandmother now has 12 months to seek.

Although no foreign national has been executed in Indonesia since 2008, President Yudhoyono, a retired general, has publicly declared his reluctance to intervene in the justice system despite receiving requests from “many countries” for clemency. Speaking in 2011, he said: “I turn down almost all requests of pardon and acquittal from the death sentence. It is for the sake of justice.”

In a statement, the Foreign Office said: “We will consider how to support any application for judicial review or clemency Lindsay Sandiford chooses to make.”

Britons abroad: The players

Rachel Dougall, 39

Ponder’s partner, Dougall, was arrested following a search of their luxury Balinese villa by police. She was imprisoned for 12 months for failing to report a crime.

Julian Ponder, 43

The Londoner was originally charged with drug trafficking along with Mrs Sandiford. Ponder was cleared of smuggling and given six years for possession of 48 grams of cocaine.

Paul Beales, 41

Alleged to have been one of two men who provided Sandiford with the drugs in Bangkok, Beales did not face a trafficking charge and is serving four years for possession of cannabis.

Sport
Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Voices
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
Sport
world cup 2014
Sport
Ray Whelan was arrested earlier this week
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
In a minor key: Keira Knightley in the lightweight 'Begin Again'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Celebrated children’s author Allan Ahlberg, best known for Each Peach Pear Plum
books
News
peopleIndian actress known as the 'Grand Old Lady of Bollywood' was 102
News
Wayne’s estate faces a claim for alleged copyright breaches
newsJohn Wayne's heirs duke it out with university over use of the late film star's nickname
Life and Style
It beggars belief: the homeless and hungry are weary, tortured, ghosts of people – with bodies contorted by imperceptible pain
lifeRough sleepers exist in every city. Hear the stories of those whose luck has run out
News
Mick Jagger performing at Glastonbury
people
Life and Style
fashionJ Crew introduces triple zero size to meet the Asia market demand
Sport
Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini of Arsenal launch the new Puma Arsenal kits at the Puma Store on Carnaby Street
sportMassive deal worth £150m over the next five years
Arts and Entertainment
Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins
musicHolyrood MPs 'staggered' at lack of Scottish artists performing
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Arts and Entertainment
Currently there is nothing to prevent all-male or all-female couples from competing against mixed sex partners at any of the country’s ballroom dancing events
Potential ban on same-sex partners in ballroom dancing competitions amounts to 'illegal discrimination'
News
business
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Business Analyst Consultant (Financial Services)

£60000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...

Systems Administrator - Linux / Unix / Windows / TCP/IP / SAN

£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider in investment managemen...

AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer

£600 - £700 per day: Harrington Starr: AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer JVS, ...

E-Commerce Developer

£45000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Exciting opp...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice