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Indonesia court rejects appeal of Frenchman facing execution

22 June 2015, 11:26

Jakarta — An Indonesian court on Monday denied the final appeal of a French national facing execution for drug offenses.

The administrative court in Jakarta said it could not overturn a presidential rejection of clemency for Serge Atlaoui, citing a lack of judicial authority.

His case has drawn national attention in France, which vigorously opposes the death penalty. Muslim majority Indonesia takes a hardline stance against drug crimes and resumed executions in 2013. So far this year it has executed 14 people convicted in drug cases.

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

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

Also read: Call for death penalty in shooting, but state lacks the drug

"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," Abdullah said.

The Frenchman was arrested in 2005 for involvement in an ecstasy factory on the outskirts of Jakarta.

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

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

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

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

- AP


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