Briton could face death in Indonesia cocaine plot

Britain's Lindsay June Sandiford (R), accompanied by her translator listens to the prosecutors during her second trial at the Indonesian resort island of Bali October 4, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer

DENPASAR, Indonesia: A British woman was indicted in an Indonesian court Thursday on multiple drug charges including smuggling cocaine to the resort island of Bali, which could see her face the death penalty.

Lindsay June Sandiford was arrested in May upon arrival at Bali's Denpasar airport on a flight from Bangkok after customs officials found 4.79 kilograms (10.6 pounds) of cocaine in the lining of her suitcase.

"The defendant acted against Indonesian law in smuggling illegal drugs classified under category one into the country," prosecutor Lie Putra Setiawan told the Denpasar district court.

Indonesian law divides drugs into three categories, the first listing those considered most serious, including cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines.

"This offence carries a maximum penalty of death," Setiawan told reporters after the session.

Sandiford, who also faces charges of possession and selling narcotics, covered her face with a piece of cloth as she passed dozens of reporters to enter the courtroom.

She appeared with only a translator, saying she had been given no access to a lawyer in prison, and requested more time to find one.

The panel of judges went ahead with the hearing, having postponed the trial last week for the same reason, but said they would appoint her an attorney for the next session.

Three Britons and one Indian national connected to Sandiford were also arrested in a sting in May. The trial of one of the British men was scheduled to open Thursday after Sandiford's hearing.

The drugs found in her suitcase had an estimated street value of around $2.5 million, customs officials have said.

Indonesia enforces stiff penalties including life imprisonment and death for drug trafficking.

Two members of an Australian drug smuggling gang known as the "Bali Nine", who were arrested in 2005, are on death row, while seven others face lengthy jail terms.

Another Australian, Schapelle Corby, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for smuggling 4.1 kilos of marijuana in 2005, recently had her term slashed by five years after a clemency appeal to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.





Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (

comments powered by Disqus



Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here