Death sentence for UK drug trafficker

2013-01-22 12:09
Lindsay June Sandiford of Britain, right, listens to her interpreter as her verdict is announced at a courthouse, in Denpasar, Bali island, Indonesia. (Firdia Lisnawati, AP)

Lindsay June Sandiford of Britain, right, listens to her interpreter as her verdict is announced at a courthouse, in Denpasar, Bali island, Indonesia. (Firdia Lisnawati, AP)

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Bali - An Indonesian court sentenced a British woman to death on Tuesday for smuggling cocaine worth $2.5 million into the resort island of Bali - even though prosecutors had sought only a 15-year sentence.

Lindsay June Sandiford, aged 56, was found guilty by the Denpasar District Court of violating the country's strict drug laws.

In its verdict, a judge panel headed by Amser Simanjuntak concluded that Sandiford had damaged the image of Bali as a tourism destination and weakened the government's drug prevention program.

State prosecutors had been seeking a 15-year prison sentence for Sandiford, who was arrested in May when customs officers at Bali's airport discovered 3.8kg of cocaine in her luggage.

She had earlier told the court that she was forced into taking the drugs into the country by a gang that was threatening to hurt one of her children.

There are more than 114 prisoners on death row in Indonesia, at least 40 of them foreigners, most of them convicted of drug crimes, according to a March 2012 report by Australia's Lowy Institute for International Policy.

Five foreigners have been executed since 1998, all for drug crimes, according to the institute.
There have been no executions in the country since 2008, when 10 people were put to death.

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