Woman sentenced to death after being caught smuggling drugs (video)

Lindsay June Sandiford 
By: Mahesh Sarin 

(Scroll down for video) A British woman was arrested, charged and convicted after she was caught smuggling a suitcase full of drugs into Indonesia, according to court proceedings in Indonesia.

Now, the court sentenced the British grandmother to death on Tuesday, for smuggling cocaine worth $2.5 million in her suitcase onto the resort island of Bali.

Prosecutors however, had only sought a sentence of 15 years in jail.

Lindsay June Sandiford, 56, cried when she heard her sentence and refused to talk to reporters on her way back to prison, covering her face with a scarf. She had claimed at trial that she was forced to smuggle the drugs into Indonesia, after a gang had threatened to hurt her children.

Indonesia, like many other Asian countries, is very strict about drug offenses, and most of the more than 40 foreigners on death row were convicted of drug charges.

Sandiford’s lawyer said he would appeal, a process that can take several years. Death row inmates face a firing squad in Indonesia, which has not carried out any executions since 2008, when 10 people were sentenced to death.

A verdict is expected in the trial of her alleged accomplice, a British man, Julian Anthony Pounder, next Tuesday. He is accused of receiving the drugs in Bali, which has a popular bar and nightclub scene where party drugs like cocaine and ecstasy are bought and sold among foreigners.

Two other British citizens and an Indian have already been convicted and sentenced to prison in connection with the bust.

In London, the British Foreign Office Minister, Hugo Swire, told lawmakers Wednesday that the government is firmly opposed to the death penalty.