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Wednesday 7 December 2016

Death-row gran left 'deeply sad' by Indonesia drug executions

Lindsay Sandiford
Lindsay Sandiford

A British grandmother on death row in Indonesia said she is "deeply saddened" by the "senseless, brutal deaths" of two Australians who were among eight convicted drug smugglers executed by firing squad.

Lindsay Sandiford, who is also facing death for drugs offences, said Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan "touched the lives of a great many people" after helping to rehabilitate fellow prisoners.

The men's executions by firing squad reportedly took place in Besi prison on the island of Nusakambangan despite calls from the Australian government to delay the killings.

Read More: Eight foreigners executed by firing squad for drug crimes

In a statement issued through her lawyer from Kerobokan Prison in Bali, Ms Sandiford (58) said: "I didn't know those men at the time they committed those crimes 10 years ago.

"What I can say is that the Andrew and Myuran I knew were men who did good and touched the lives of many people."

Ms Sandiford, from Cheltenham in Gloucestershire, said Chan was a "close friend and confidante" when they were in Kerobokan prison together.

"He counselled and helped me through exceptionally difficult times after I was sentenced to death in 2013," she added.

Meanwhile, Australia said it would withdraw its ambassador to Indonesia after two Australians were among eight drug traffickers executed, but was wary of escalating hostilities despite a public outcry.

But there was unexpected joy in the Philippines, where the government won an 11th-hour stay of execution for a Philippine woman also on death row on a drug conviction.

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