Wednesday 28 September 2016

Final appeal of Frenchman facing execution for drug offences rejected

Published 22/06/2015 | 08:01

Death row inmate Serge Atlaoui of France arrives for his judicial review at Tangerang District Court in Tangerang, Banten province REUTERS/Beawiharta/Files
Death row inmate Serge Atlaoui of France arrives for his judicial review at Tangerang District Court in Tangerang, Banten province REUTERS/Beawiharta/Files

An Indonesian court has rejected the final appeal of a Frenchman facing execution for drug offences.

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The administrative court in Jakarta said it would not overturn a presidential rejection of clemency for Serge Atlaoui.

His case has drawn national attention in France, which vigorously opposes the death penalty.

Atlaoui was arrested in 2005 for alleged involvement in an ecstasy factory on the outskirts of Jakarta.

Indonesia takes a hardline stance against drug crimes and resumed executions in 2013.

In April, Indonesia executed eight people convicted of drug trafficking, straining relations with Australia and Brazil whose citizens were among those shot by firing squad.

French president Francois Hollande has warned of diplomatic consequences and possible economic fallout if Atlaoui is executed.

Presiding judge Ujang Abdullah said the court had no capacity to rule on the case since granting clemency was the prerogative right of the president.

"The president's right to grant clemency is granted by the constitution while the authority of administrative court is just to judge on decrees issued by administrative officials," he said.

In April Indonesia executed eight people convicted of drug trafficking, straining relations with Australia and Brazil whose citizens were among those shot by firing squad.

Attorney general's office spokesman Tony Spontana said the execution would happen after the holy fasting month of Ramadan, which ends on July 17 in Indonesia.

"We welcome the Jakarta Administrative Court's decision rejecting Atlaoui's last appeal," he said. "This is good news for us, but we will not do anything related with his case during Ramadan."

Lawyers for Atlaoui made a last ditch appeal after President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo denied clemency in December.

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