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Indonesia One Step Closer to Execution of French National

  • VOA News

FILE - Serge Atlaoui, a French national who is on death row after being convicted of drug offences, enters the courtroom for his judicial review hearing at the district court in Tangerang, Indonesia, April 1, 2015.

FILE - Serge Atlaoui, a French national who is on death row after being convicted of drug offences, enters the courtroom for his judicial review hearing at the district court in Tangerang, Indonesia, April 1, 2015.

An Indonesian court has rejected the final appeal of a French national facing execution for drug trafficking, a move that is likely to bring about another round of condemnation from the international community.

Lawyers for Serge Atlaoui, 51, are seeking to overturn President Joko Widodo's refusal to grant clemency for their client back in December. But the court ruled Monday that it did not have jurisdiction to overturn the president's decision.

Nancy Yuliana Lawyer of Serge Atlaoui, a French national who is on death row after being convicted of drug offences, talks to the media after a hearing at the State Administrative Court in Jakarta, Indonesia, June 22, 2015.

Nancy Yuliana Lawyer of Serge Atlaoui, a French national who is on death row after being convicted of drug offences, talks to the media after a hearing at the State Administrative Court in Jakarta, Indonesia, June 22, 2015.

Atlaoui's lawyer, Nancy Yuliana, told reporters she was disappointed in the court's ruling, but said she and the legal team would find more legal avenues to pursue. Atlaoui was arrested in 2005 at a drug factory outside Jakarta. He has maintained his innocence throughout, saying he believed he was working in a chemicals factory.

He won a temporary reprieve after the French government intervened on his behalf back in April, shortly before eight other foreigners were executed on drug trafficking charges. The executions strained Indonesia's relations with Australia and Brazil, whose citizens were among those put to death. France, which opposes the death penalty, is also warning of diplomatic retaliation if Atlaoui is put to death.

A spokesman for the attorney general's office said Atlaoui will not be executed during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which ends in mid-July.

Indonesia has some of the strongest anti-drug trafficking laws in the world, but halted executions for several years until 2013. So far this year, 14 people have been executed for drug trafficking in Indonesia, most of them foreigners.

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