Redcar Woman Loses Appeal Over Death Sentence

23 April 2013, 05:50

A Redcar woman in jail in Bali has lost a legal battle to win funding to help her overturn her death sentence for drug smuggling.

56 year old Lindsay Sandiford, failed in her appeal over a UK Government refusal to fund her legal challenge against the penalty imposed by an Indonesian court.

Sandiford was arrested in May 2012 at Bali airport when customs officers found cocaine worth £1.6m in her luggage.

She was given the death penalty by a court in January.

Afterwards, her lawyers set out to overturn the sentence which had been imposed despite prosecutors recommending a 15-year jail term.

She had hoped for financial support from the British Government but the Government refused, saying it was not legally obliged to pay for "an adequate lawyer" to represent her.

On Monday, she went to the Court of Appeal in London to try to force the British Government to pay for lawyers to represent her at Indonesia's Supreme Court in Jakarta.

The appeal court heard Sandiford needs about £8,000 to mount an appeal in Jakarta.

But three senior judges, headed by Lord Dyson, Master of the Rolls, dismissed her challenge in the Court of Appeal.

The UK High Court had already upheld the Government's stance of not providing legal funding for British nationals arrested abroad, even in exceptional circumstances, in a hearing in January.

Sandiford received a private donation of over £2,500 after the High Court hearing, but that had already been spent.

Her lawyers said another £2,000 has been found, but around £6,000 was needed from the Government as money from private sources following publicity was "fully exhausted".

Sandiford has until Tuesday to appeal against her sentence in Bali to Indonesia's Supreme Court.

If the Supreme Court also rejects her plea, she can seek a judicial review of the decision from the same court.

After that, only the president can grant her a reprieve. Her execution by firing squad has been scheduled for May 7th.


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