Indonesia rejects French death row inmate's last appeal

Court says it will not overturn President Joko Widodo's decision to deny clemency for drug offender Serge Atlaoui.

    Atlaoui's case has drawn national attention in France, which vigorously opposes the death penalty [AFP]
    Atlaoui's case has drawn national attention in France, which vigorously opposes the death penalty [AFP]

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

    The administrative court said on Monday it would not overturn a presidential rejection of clemency for Serge Atlaoui, who was sentenced to death in 2007 after being caught working in a secret drugs factory.

    "We reject the challenge by the challenger," presiding judge, Ujang Abdullah, told the State Administrative Court in Jakarta.

    Indonesian president says drugs are destroying his country's future

    The 51-year-old's lawyers had been challenging President Joko Widodo's refusal to grant him clemency, saying the leader had not properly considered Atlaoui's case.

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

    He had been due to be put to death with seven other foreign drug offenders two months ago, but won a temporary reprieve after Paris stepped up pressure, with authorities agreeing to let his appeal run its course.

    International condemnation

    The execution of two Australians, four Nigerians, a Brazilian and an Indonesian man drew international condemnation in April.

    In an unprecedented move, Australia recalled its ambassador to Jakarta, after its unsuccessful appeal for a stay of execution, so that claims of corruption during the trials of the two Australian prisoners could be investigated.

    Amnesty International and other rights groups condemned the executions saying they showed a "complete disregard for due process and human rights safeguards".


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    Fourteen people have now been put to death in Indonesia this year, and the government has announced plans for further executions this year.

    President Widodo defended the executions in an interview with Al Jazeera in March.

    "I believe the Indonesian legal system is thorough in these cases and looks at the evidence," he said.

    "We want to send a strong message to drug smugglers that Indonesia is firm and serious in tackling the drug problem, and one of the consequences is execution if the court sentences them to death."

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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