UK

Lindsay Sandiford Wins Reprieve From Indonesia Firing Squad After Executions Temporarily Halted

19/11/2015 17:48 GMT | Updated 19/11/2015 18:59 GMT

Lindsay Sandiford, the British grandmother facing the firing squad in Indonesia for drug smuggling, has been given a temporary reprieve after the country decided to halt all executions.

Sandiford, 59, was sentenced to death in Bali in January 2013 after being found guilty of attempting to smuggle £1.6 million worth of cocaine into the holiday island on May 19, 2012. The Gloucestershire grandmother admitted drug trafficking but claimed she was coerced over threats to her son's life.

In an unexpected announcement on Thursday, Luhut Panjaitan, co-ordinating minister for political legal and security affairs, said that a moratorium on executions had been put into place. The moratorium was first being raised in October.

lindsay sandiford

British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford has been temporarily saved from the firing squad

Panjaitan said Indonesia needed to concentrate on the economy as the country’s economic growth had dipped below five per cent for two consecutive quarters this year, the ABC reported.

He said much needed foreign investment was needed to help build up the nation's depleted infrastructure.

In September, the lead lawyer for the two Australian's executed for being part of the 'Bali Nine' - Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran - predicted that Indonesia's economic woes could lead to executions being halted.

Todung Mulya Lubis said: "We have a problem with declining exports to other countries. And we cannot afford to have another execution, as simple as that."

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Bali Nine masterminds Sukumaran and Chan were executed in April along with six others

In April Indonesia authorities executed eight prisoners for drug offences including Sukumaran and Chan.

Prison sources told the MailOnline that Sandiford was "thankful" at hearing the news through the jail 'grapevine'. However, the website said she was still concerned that she might have to spend the rest of her life in jail.

Sandiford was sentenced to death despite co-operating with police in a sting operation to arrest people higher up in her drug syndicate.

The plot’s alleged ringleader, Briton Julian Ponder is expected to be released next year after serving a six years jail.

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Another of the men suspected of masterminding the smuggling plot, Paul Beales, of Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, was sentenced to four years jail. The 43-year-old is expected to be freed and deported before the end of this year.

Ponder’s former partner Rachel Dougall, was released last year after serving just one year on a reduced charge of failing to report a crime.

Death Row prisoner Lindsay Sandiford