British Foreign Secretary Denies Lack of Legal Assistance for Lindsay Sandiford

BY :SP/ NATASIA CHRISTY

FEBRUARY 05, 2015

Jakarta. The UK foreign minister denied on Wednesday that the UK had not provided any legal assistance for Lindsay Sandiford, a British woman on death row following her conviction for smuggling cocaine into Bali.

Philip Hammond said after meeting his Indonesian counterpart Retno LP. Marsudi that Sandiford's claim that she was not provided with a lawyer while going through trial was untrue.

"I cannot discuss a private case because the detail is very confidential, but I have talked to [Retno] and our stance is against the death penalty in any case," Hammond said on Wednesday.

"I am sure the minister understands our position," he said.

Hammond said the UK always provided legal assistance for its citizens abroad.

"Of course we provide lawyer support for our citizens anywhere in the world including in Indonesia if they are imprisoned or facing trials," Hammond said.

Hammond declined to say if he would withdraw the UK ambassador, as Brazil and the Netherlands did when their citizens were executed for drug offenses last month.

"I believe it is still premature to say such things," he said.

In a letter to British broadcaster the BBC earlier this week, 57-year-old Sandiford, who was found with 3.8 kilograms of cocaine worth $2.5 million when she arrived in Bali from Bangkok in 2012, wrote that she had received no help from the British Foreign Office.

Sandiford, who is due to face the firing squads in a few weeks, said she could not afford a lawyer.

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