Drug smuggling Brits have been all over the news in the last couple of weeks, with the entire country on tender hooks as the ‘Peru Two’ case unfolded, and now the drug smuggling grandmother is back in the spotlight after losing another appeal.
After 57-year-old Lindsay Sandiford was caught smuggling 4.8kg of cocaine into the island of Bali from Bangkok in the lining of her suitcase, she was sentenced to death by firing squad. What followed was much debate over the severity of the grandmother’s punishment and whether it accurately reflected her crime. Initially, it was decided that Sandiford should serve 15 years in prison, but after further consideration, it was agreed that she should be given the death penalty for her crime. Now, after her second appeal, the Indonesian Supreme Court have rejected her efforts and said it refused to overturn the sentence.
Lindsay Sandiford claims she was forced to carry the drugs, which were worth around £1.6 million, much like Melissa Reid and Michaella McCollum Connolly in Peru. In the Sandiford case, four other people, including three Brits, served prison sentences ranging from one to six years in connection with the trafficking offence. So, regardless of whether she was forced to carry the drugs or not, what happens next for Lindsay?
…a grim reality lies before her…
According to the Telegraph, ‘Sandiford now has the option of a judicial review into her case, but that would require fresh evidence to be brought before it would be granted. In the absence of that, her next and possibly final legal step will be to seek a pardon from the presidential office.’
If she is not pardoned, a grim reality lies before her that will consist of being taken to an unknown location in the middle of the night before being killed by a firing squad. Although the British government has raised concerns about the treatment and living conditions of Lindsay Sandiford, there is little they can do. The UK Foreign Office has said that since the latest failed appeal, they will continue to try and support the ill-fated British woman as best they can.
…Sandiford’s life could be spared if Britain cooperated…
A severe punishment and one that is sure to scare the living daylights out of anyone contemplating smuggling drugs to make a quick buck, facing a firing squad in the dead of night in a foreign country isn’t the ending to an exciting holiday anyone wants. Controversially, it was revealed that Sandiford’s life could be spared if Britain cooperated in an unofficial prisoner swap, by extraditing a 52-year-old British man back to Bali after he was involved in a £900 million banking scandal. If Britain were to cooperate, Lindsay would be allowed to return to the UK to finish her 15-year sentence here. The government have, unsurprisingly, not commented on this potential seedy deal.
As time runs out for Lindsay Sandiford, it’s worth noting that she isn’t the first tourist to find herself in this position. Since 1998, five others have been killed by firing squad, and what were their crimes? All drug related. Surprise. An uncertain future lies ahead as it seems Indonesia are putting their foot down and making an example out of those who chose to smuggle drugs in their country.