Update on Bali Drug Case: Co-Def. Gets 6 Years

When British matron Lindsay Sandiford was sentenced to death in Bali last week, I said my sympathies weren't all with her because it appeared after she got busted, she worked with police to set up four innocent people up to take the fall as her suppliers in the syndicate, by claiming they orchestrated her smuggle. She knew if charged, they be facing the same penalty: death. And she did it anyway. Luckily for the others, the cops seem to have figured out she wasn't telling the truth.

The reasons I doubted her story are here.

Three of the four were sentenced before her to relatively light terms -- 5 years, 4 years and 1 year -- all for possession of minor amounts of drugs they had in their homes at the time of arrest. They were cleared of being involved in Lindsay's smuggling deal. [More...]

One defendant was left to be sentenced: Julian Pnder, the partner of Rachel Dougall. Lindsay, as part of a controlled delivery, talked him into meeting her saying she had a birthday present for his and Rachel's 6 year old to give him. He met her, she handed him the package, and he's busted. The go to his home and search, and find 23 grams (under an ounce) of cocaine in a closet. Rachel had some pills in a cigarette pack. They haul them off to jail, leaving the 6 year old with the maid and gardner, and tell them they are looking at the death penalty. Both said it was a "fit up" immediately (their word for a "set-up.)

Julian was sentenced today for the 23 grams and got 7 years, far less than Lindsay? Why? He was clear of drug trafficking -- of having anything to do with Lindsay's deal. Had her story been believable to authorities, or had they found any evidence to support it, Julian's sentence would have been much more like Lindsay's.

So this woman, who was facing death, seems to have picked four people she barely knew, and asked them to walk unsuspectingly into a lion's den where they too would be torn from their children and families and lives, to spend months and years in a hellhole of an Indonesian prison, as she tried to avoid the death penalty by ratting them out. It didn't work. The judges all but called her a liar when sentencing her to death, a sentence far greater than the 5 years the prosecutors had requested:

The panel of judges viewed the defendant as being uncooperative during the trial.

“She repeatedly refused to acknowledge that the 4.7 kilograms of cocaine was hers, she didn’t provide the court with straight answers and she didn’t show any remorse for her wrongdoings.”

If Ponder, who she claimed was the ringleader and the person to whom she was to deliver the drugs, really was her contact, he would have gotten a lot more than 6 years and been found guilty of being part of her scheme. His sentence, limited to the 23 grams in his home, shows that the prosecutors had no evidence he was doing anything other than responding to a request to pick up a child's birthday present. He never even opened the package.

While 6 years is excessive for an ounce of coke, (as is 4 years for 3 grams of planted hash that another defendant got)that's the way things go in Bali. Just another reason not to go there. That and the 20 years Schapelle Corby was sentenced to for 4 kilos of pot found in her boogie bag as she flew from Australia to Bali for vacation.

Try the Four Seasons in the Maldives, the Oberoi in Mauritius, Fregate Islands in the Seychelles, to name a few. Anywhere but Indonesia, they don't deserve our dollars.

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