Death penalty grandmother funding appeal lost, as Cheltenham MP calls for government to consider stepping in
LEGAL costs for helping drug smuggling grandmother Lindsay Sandiford should be covered by the Foreign Office, according to Cheltenham's MP.
Sandiford, who lived for a time in Warden Hill and Hester's Way, was condemned to death by firing squad for drug smuggling.
She lost a High Court appeal for the Government to step in and pay yesterday. But Martin Horwood has criticised the government for not paying for her legal representation as she fights for her life.
A legal challenge was brought to London's High Court with judges being asked to rule the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's failure to arrange an adequate lawyer to represent 56-year-old Sandiford was unlawful.
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Speaking before the decision was made, Liberal Democrat Mr Horwood called for more action to be taken.
He said: "Obviously the Foreign Office cannot agree to write a blank cheque for people in custody all over the world.
"But this is a particularly extreme case where somebody's life is at risk, so they should look at this very carefully.
"Indonesia does pay the legal costs for its own immigrant workers who are facing the death penalty in countries like China and Saudi Arabia.
"I think that what we would all hope is that the British Embassy will do the same amount as Indonesia does for its own citizens. I think if there is no other option, and if she wouldn't have a lawyer otherwise, I think they should consider paying it, as Indonesia does for its own citizens in similar circumstances."
Sandiford was given the death penalty by a court in Bali last week for taking 10.6lb of cocaine on to the island last year.
The High Court was told that a notice of appeal was filed with Indonesian officials earlier this week and she was given a 14-day deadline to file grounds of appeal.
Aidan O'Neill QC said Sandiford was urgently in need of the money because she is currently without legal assistance and her family have exhausted all of their available resources.
Law firm Leigh Day, which is working with charity Reprieve, said it would have cost around £2,500 to pay for an adequate lawyer to take on her case.