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.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
Fans take a selfie with Ed Miliband in Kempston, near Bedford, on Tuesday
election 2015
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Ashdown Group: Editor-in-chief - Financial Services - City, London

£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Ashdown Group: Accountant - London - £48,000 - 12 month FTC

£40000 - £48000 per annum + bonus + benefits: Ashdown Group: International Acc...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power