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Death row grandmother reaches appeal fund target

Lindsay Sandiford's letter Credit: Facebook

A grandmother from Redcar on death row in Indonesia for drug smuggling has written a letter from her prison cell thanking her supporters for raising enough money to allow her a retrial.

In the letter Lindsay Sandiford said a recent visit by her family has helped her mood.

I have to tell you my spirits have recently been lifted by the visit of my sons and their partners and a very special little girl Ayla Iris my grand daughter. She has without exception melted the hearts of everyone here. I am so in love with her. It was truly very special. I want to thank everyone who helped facilitate my families trip to Bali. You know who you are and I mean it from the bottom of my heart."

Lindsay Sandiford in 2012 Credit: PA

The 59-year-old's lawyers had previously been told her name was on a list of ten drug traffickers scheduled to be shot on September 21.

She had now instructed her lawyers to appeal against her sentence.

I also wanted to let you know over $50K has been raised and this now enables me to start the appeal and my Indonesian legal team are now preparing instructions for the experts to prepare reports. I am informed the (appeal) will not be in the too distant future. Your prayers, messages and support and I thank you all very much.

Lindsay Sandiford was sentenced to death in Bali in January 2013 for drug trafficking.

She was arrested in May 2012 after police found cocaine worth an estimated £1.6 million in the lining of her suitcase when she arrived on the idyllic island.


High Court to explain death penalty help refusal

Lawyers for Lindsay Sandiford say she cannot afford a good lawyer for her appeal.

Judges at the High Court will today explain why they refused an appeal by Lindsay Sandiford for government help in fighting the firing squad.

The grandmother from Redcar was convicted last month of importing 4.8 kg of cocaine into Indonesia, and sentenced to death.

Last week the High Court in London turned down her appeal against a decision by the British government not to provide her with legal assistance in fighting the sentence.

Those judges will release the reasons for their decision later.

Mrs Sandiford's lawyers says she urgently needs funds because there was "no prospect" her family could afford a competent lawyer to represent her on appeal. They have called for the British government to help, or to support the charity, Reprieve, which is involved in her case.

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: "We strongly object to the death penalty and continue to provide consular assistance to Lindsay and her family during this difficult time."

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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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British man jailed by Indonesian court over drug charges

A court in Indonesia has sentenced a British man to four years in jail for possessing drugs. 40-year-old Paul Beales also faced a further charge of selling them.

But because Beales was not considered the main player in the case, he escaped the death penalty.

Paul Beales escorted by a policeman as he arrived at his trial earlier this year Credit: Reuters

Beales was arrested in May this year, along with three other Britons - Lindsay Sandiford, Rachel Dougall and Julian Ponder - after authorities found nearly five kilogrammes of cocaine inside the lining of a suitcase which arrived at Bali's Ngurah Rai airport from Bangkok.

But the court cleared him of those charges.

Redcar woman may escape death penalty

Indonesian customs officials have said that a Redcar woman who was arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling could be spared the death penalty.

Lindsay Sandiford, 55, was allegedly caught with 4.8 kilos of cocaine in her suitcase on arrival at Bali Ngurah International Airport on May 19.

It's estimated the haul had a street value of around £1.6 million.

Made Wijaya, a Bali customs agent, initially said the punishment for drug smuggling is usually a death sentence.

But officials have said that Mrs Sandiford may escape the death penalty because she helped catch three other members of a suspected drug trafficking ring.

Three Britons and an Indian man were also arrested.


Redcar woman arrested over drug smuggling allegations

A 55-year-old British woman could face the death penalty in Indonesia after she was arrested for allegedly attempting to smuggle more than 4kg of cocaine into Bali.

Customs officers named the woman as Lindsay June Sandiford from Redcar on Teesside.

The woman was arrested at Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport on May 19 after arriving on a flight from Bangkok. It is understood another two British nationals have also been arrested, along with a person travelling on an Indian passport.

After weighing, the total cocaine is 4.791kg. This is a big international network. The charge against them would carry the death penalty.

– Made Wijaya, Head of Customs, Bali Airport, speaking to AAP News Agency