Death row grandmother’s sister ‘terrified’ she will lose chance to appeal

January 30, 2013

The sister of Lindsay Sandiford, a British grandmother sentenced to death by firing squad in Bali last week, has spoken of her fear that Lindsay will miss her opportunity to file an appeal due to her inability to afford a lawyer.

Lindsay’s sister, Hilary Parsons, has supported Lindsay throughout her ordeal and spent the last of her savings trying to get Lindsay a competent lawyer. However, Lindsay is still without a lawyer and now has under two weeks to file an appeal against her death sentence – which involves completing a complicated legal document in Indonesian, a language she does not speak.

Desperate to try to secure legal representation to file an appeal, Lindsay – supported by legal action charity Reprieve and solicitors Leigh Day & Co – is suing the UK Foreign Office over its failure to support her appeal against her death sentence. If Lindsay does not file an appeal she will lose her right to appeal her sentence.

Hilary Parsons said: “I can’t imagine what we will do if we miss the opportunity to save Lindsay’s life. Because Lindsay is unrepresented it is has fallen to me to try to work out what is going on and when documents need to be filed – this is a terrifying position to be in. I don’t speak Indonesian and have no way to find out how the Indonesian criminal justice system works. “When I arrived in Bali in early October I managed to find an Indonesian Lawyer, Esra Karokaro who would represent Lindsay at trial for £5000. Other lawyers we approached had asked for upwards of $30,000. Although Esra appeared to be an honest lawyer who would do his best for Lindsay, he did not speak much English and had never handled a case carrying the death penalty. Esra has done his best throughout the case but it is clear that Lindsay desperately needs the help of an experienced capital defence lawyer. A lawyer has offered to act for free but I have spent all of my savings and do not have the money to pay his costs.

“A lawyer has offered to represent Lindsay pro bono if the British Government are able to cover his costs. He is our only choice. If we were properly funded we could hire the very best lawyer. I know nothing about this lawyer and can only hope and pray that he is the right person for the very difficult job.“I am so scared that we will lose the chance to appeal. A lawyer should have started work on the case a week ago and every day that goes by is a day that Lindsay loses for preparing her appeal. We have nowhere else to turn. We desperately need the help of the British Foreign Office to ensure that Lindsay has a lawyer. “

ENDS

Notes to editors

1. For further information please contact Donald Campbell or Clemency Wells in Reprieve’s press office: +44 (0) 207 553 8166 / 8161 / donald.campbell [AT] reprieve.org.uk

2. Further information on Lindsay Sandiford’s Judicial Review of the Foreign Office can be found here: http://www.reprieve.org.uk/press/2013_01_28_Lindsay_Sandiford_Foreign_Office