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British Woman Sentenced to Death by Indonesia Court in Drug Case

Jan. 22 (Bloomberg) -- An Indonesian court sentenced British national Lindsay Sandiford to death for her role in attempting to smuggle drugs into Bali, a court spokesman said.

“We strongly object to the death penalty and continue to provide consular assistance to Lindsay and her family during this difficult time,” U.K. Foreign Office minister Hugo Swire told lawmakers in the House of Commons in London today. “We’ve made repeated representations to the Indonesian authorities.”

Sandiford was found guilty of carrying cocaine when she entered the island through the airport, Amser Simanjuntak, a spokesman and judge at the Denpasar district court in Bali, said by telephone, confirming a report by the Associated Press. Prosecutors had demanded a 15-year sentence, the report said. Simanjuntak declined to comment further.

In 2006, two of the Australians known as the Bali Nine were sentenced to death and the rest to life in prison for trying to smuggle heroin into the resort island. In 2005, Australian Schapelle Corby was sentenced to 20 years in prison for attempting to smuggle 4 kilograms (8.8 pounds) of marijuana into Bali. Her sentenced has since been reduced by five years, Australia’s Foreign Minister Bob Carr said in May.

Sandiford, 56, was arrested in May carrying 3.8 kilograms of cocaine valued at $2.5 million in her luggage, the AP reported. Lawyers said she would appeal, according to the report. Her alleged accomplice, British man Julian Anthony Pounder, may receive his verdict tomorrow while two other British citizens and an Indian have already been convicted and sentenced to prison in connection with the bust, the AP said.

Foreign Secretary William Hague raised the case with the Indonesian government during a state visit to Britain by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in November 2012, Swire said.

There are two further avenues for appeal under Indonesian law along with the opportunity to apply for presidential clemency, he told lawmakers.

To contact the reporter on this story: Berni Moestafa in Jakarta at bmoestafa@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Colin Keatinge at ckeatinge@bloomberg.net

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