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UK legal challenge over death penalty Briton in Bali

The Government is to be challenged over its failure to fund legal representation for a British woman sentenced to death for drug smuggling in Bali, a law firm has said.

Lindsay Sandiford, 56, from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, was given the death penalty by a court last week for taking 10.6lb (4.8kg) of cocaine on to the island.

Lindsay Sandiford pictured with her translator, listens to the judge during a her trial Credit: : Reuters

Ms Sandford has seven days to launch an appeal, but has no legal representation.

Law firm Leigh Day said it is seeking a judicial review of the Government's decision not to pay the £2,500 legal expenses needed.

See also:

FCO: Legal representation not provided for British nationals overseas

Surprise death sentence for British woman in Indonesia

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Death sentence a difficult subject in Indonesian politics

Capital punishment is a controversial subject in Indonesia where Lindsay Sandiford has been sentenced to death for smuggling cocaine, ABC's Indonesia Correspondent George Roberts told Daybreak.

The silent majority support the sentence, but judging by its record so far the Indonesian government is very reluctant to execute foreigners.

First, Mr Roberts was asked whether Sandiford's case was getting much coverage in the local press:

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Lindsay Sandiford 'clearly not a drug kingpin'

She is clearly not a drug kingpin - she has no money to pay for a lawyer, for the travel costs of defence witnesses or even for essentials like food and water.

She has co-operated fully with the Indonesian authorities but has been sentenced to death while the gang operating in the UK, Thailand and Indonesia remain free to target other vulnerable people.

Lindsay must file an appeal within the next 14 days and it is vital that the British Government do everything possible to support Lindsay's appeal against the death sentence.

– Reprieve, Human rights charity

MP: Indonesia 'behaving wrongly' over death penalty

Lindsay Sandiford's MP says the sentence has come as a shock to a lot of people, and he's aiming to raise the issue with Foreign Secretary, William Hague. Martin Horwood, the MP for Cheltenham where Lindsay Sandiford once lived, said the death penalty should be a thing of the past:

This is not the way that a country that now values democracy and human rights should really be behaving. I imagine all those who know Lindsay will be extremely worried and concerned about this development.

When the prosecutors asked for something less than the death sentence, for a custodial sentence, then I guess I'm afraid some of us perhaps relaxed a little and this has come as a real shock that the judges have actually delivered a sentence which is obviously much, much harsher than the one that was actually requested by prosecutors.

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