Date
24 September 2017
Lindsay Sandiford was sentenced to death on the island of Bali in 2013 after she was convicted of trafficking drugs. Photo: AFP
Lindsay Sandiford was sentenced to death on the island of Bali in 2013 after she was convicted of trafficking drugs. Photo: AFP

British grandmother prepares for execution in Indonesia

A 58-year-old British grandmother on death row in Indonesia is writing goodbye letters to her family. She believes she could be executed at any time.

In an article she wrote in the British newspaper the Mail on Sunday, Lindsay Sandiford said she was expecting to die shortly, after seven foreign drug convicts were executed last week, causing a storm of international protest, the French news agency AFP reported.

“My execution is imminent and I know I might die at any time now,” Sandiford wrote. “I could be taken tomorrow from my cell.

“I have started to write goodbye letters to members of my family.”

Sandiford, from Redcar in northeast England, wrote that she planned to sing Magic Moments, a cheery tune, when facing the firing squad.

“I won’t wear a blindfold. It’s not because I’m brave but because I don’t want to hide — I want them to look at me when they shoot me.”

She said her greatest sadness is that she may never meet her two-year-old granddaughter, who was born after her arrest.

Sandiford was sentenced to death on the island of Bali in 2013 after she was convicted of trafficking drugs, the news agency said.

Customs officers found cocaine worth an estimated US$2.4 million hidden in a false bottom in Sandiford’s suitcase when she arrived in Bali on a flight from Thailand in 2012.

Sandiford admitted the offense, but says that she agreed to carry the drugs after a drug syndicate threatened to kill her son.

She described Andrew Chan, 31, one of two Australians killed by firing squad on Wednesday for his role in a plan to smuggle heroin, as “one of the heroes of my life”.

The two had become close friends in prison, where Chan had spent a decade after being arrested as one of the so-called Bali Nine group of smugglers.

The execution of Chan, who became a Christian pastor in prison, and another Australian Myuran Sukumaran, 34, prompted Australia to recall its ambassador to Indonesia.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott called the executions “cruel and unnecessary”.

A mentally ill Brazilian man and four African men were also executed. A Filipina single mother, Mary Jane Veloso, was granted a last-minute reprieve.

Sandiford’s family have recently launched a fundraising drive to raise money to lodge an appeal at the Indonesian Supreme Court, after the British government refused to fund the legal fight.

If the challenge fails, Sandiford still has the option to appeal for clemency from Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

Mercy pleas of the convicts executed on Wednesday had been rejected.

– Contact us at [email protected]

RA/CG

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