Gloucestershire

Lindsay Sandiford's drugs appeal case 'strong', lawyer says

Lindsay Sandiford Image copyright AFP
Image caption Lindsay Sandiford was sentenced to death in Indonesia in 2013

The lawyer for a British drugs smuggler on death row in Indonesia has said her final appeal case will have "strong grounds" for her acquittal.

Lindsay Sandiford, 58, from Cheltenham, is facing death by firing squad but has a six month window to file her appeal.

Craig Tuck told Victoria Derbyshire her defence would show she was a vulnerable drugs mule trafficked into Bali.

He said Indonesian law also made allowances for trafficked persons in this situation to be acquitted.

Sandiford has been in jail since 2012 after arriving in Bali from Thailand carrying drugs with a street value of £1.6m.

'Personal factors'

Mr Tuck said: "Lindsay is a vulnerable person, she's had mental health issues, she's had all sorts of personal factors and features which are relevant to the case that need to be put into the mix of what exploitation occurred - that is going to take some months.

"That creates an international legal position and the black letter law in Indonesia says if you are a trafficked person you must be acquitted.

"On that basis, that defence has never been run, and needed to be looked at and we're making sure we get that position solid."

Last month, eight people were executed by firing squad in Indonesia.

Sandiford's lawyer said she had escaped this fate as her appeal had not been filed.

He said: "We have a six month window to file the appeal, now had she filed the appeal earlier its likely she would have been executed in the previous round of executions.

"There's been two rounds of executions - she may have been on that list."

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Andrew Chan (left) and Myuran Sukumaran were among the eight people executed by firing squad

'Refusing help'

Sandiford's campaigners have also made a fresh appeal calling for her case to get a fair hearing.

They have also expressed concerns over the lack of funding support from the UK government.

The government has said "it has been the policy of successive governments not to fund legal assistance for British Nationals".

Campaigners also allude to the British Vice Consul to Bali, Alys Harahap who was suspended over an alleged relationship with a drugs lord who Sandiford alleges coerced her into smuggling drugs.

Julian Ponder is currently in prison in Indonesia over drugs charges.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has confirmed Harahap has been dismissed from her post.

A FCO spokesman 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."

Mr Tuck said: "This appeal has one of the strongest grounds that I've seen in decades.

"From start to finish the trial process and appeals process was a train wreck to some extent, I think she will get a fair deal from the Indonesian Supreme Court."

Watch Victoria Derbyshire weekdays from 09:15-11:00 BST on BBC Two and BBC News Channel, for original stories, in-depth interviews and the issues at the heart of public debate. Follow the programme on Facebook and Twitter, and find all our content online.

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