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Death row Briton 'last hope' appeal

Published 15/05/2015

Lindsay Sandiford is on death row
Lindsay Sandiford is on death row

A British grandmother facing execution by firing squad in Indonesia has six months to lodge a final appeal which is "her last hope", her lawyer has said.

Lindsay Sandiford was sentenced to death in Bali in January 2013 for drug trafficking after she was found with cocaine worth an estimated £1.6 million as she arrived on the island.

The 58-year old, who admitted the offences but claimed she was coerced by threats to her son's life, has already seen an appeal fail.

Her legal team are now preparing a fresh attempt to overturn the sentence.

Lawyer Craig Tuck said: "The situation at the moment is that we have a six-month window to file the appeal. Had she filed the appeal earlier it is likely she would have been executed in the previous round of executions."

He added: " Her last hope is this appeal."

He has travelled to Britain to obtain material and consult experts.

"What needs to happen now is that we file the appeal when we are ready," he told the BBC. "We are very cautious about when we file. The timing is critical.

"We want all the information prepared and ready for the court."

He said there is a "great deal of information" that can be put before the Indonesian Supreme Court.

"I've been taking detailed instructions from her in relation to the coercion element, more information about the trans-national cartel of one of the Bali drug lords that was operating with her, or against her, and the degree of exploitation.

"They are all important factors that have not been put in front of the court."

He added that there are a "raft of procedural matters" that have also not been assessed.

Mr Tuck said it was "one of those incredible appeals that has so many different factors and grounds".

He said: "This is one of those show appeals that has all those before her and all those that follow her relying on what comes out."

Asked how confident he was, the lawyer said: "This appeal has one of the strongest grounds that I have seen in decades. From start to finish the trial process and appeal process was a train wreck to some extent.

"I think she is going to get a fair deal from the Indonesian Supreme Court."

Last month eight convicted drug smugglers, including two Australians, were executed.

Sandiford, from Cheltenham in Gloucestershire, has said she is now the only death row prisoner left in Kerobokan prison and the Indonesian authorities want all executions for drug offences done by the end of the year.

Writing earlier this month in the Mail on Sunday, she said she has started writing goodbye letters to her family.

Supporters of Sandiford have appealed for help after she was refused legal funding by the UK Government.

The Foreign Office said: " It has been the policy of successive governments not to fund legal assistance for British nationals abroad. The FCO receives numerous requests for help with legal bills for other cases and cannot provide funding because of the costs and complexities involved. The UK Supreme Court upheld this policy."

A spokeswoman added: "Lindsay Sandiford is currently refusing consular assistance but we stand ready to visit her in prison if she changes her mind. It is the long-standing policy of the UK to oppose the death penalty in all circumstances.

"We have made representations to the Indonesian government on this matter repeatedly and at the highest levels, and will continue to do so."

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