Asia

Indonesia rejects French death row convict Serge Atlaoui clemency

In this file photo taken on March 11, 2015, French drug trafficker and death row prisoner Serge Atlaoui (C) is escorted by armed Indonesian elite police commandos following a court hearing in Tangerang in a suburb of Jakarta where Atlaoui filed a judicial review against his death sentence. Image copyright AFP
Image caption An execution date has not been set

A court in Indonesia has rejected the final appeal of a French national sentenced to death for drug offences.

The court said it would not overturn a rejection of clemency for Serge Atlaoui from Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

An execution date has not been set, but officials say it will not take place during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which ends in mid-July.

Atlaoui was granted a last-minute reprieve in April and left out of a group of foreigners who were executed.

The attorney general has said the appeal against the rejection of his clemency bid was the final legal recourse for Atlaoui. His lawyers have nonetheless vowed to continue to seek legal avenues.

Indonesia's tough stance on drug trafficking has drawn international criticism.


Analysis: Alice Budisatrijo, BBC News, Jakarta

Image copyright various
Image caption On April 29, eight foreigners were executed for drug offences, but Atlaoui and one other were temporarily spared

It was always very unlikely that the administrative court would be able to spare Serge Atlaoui from his fate.

Other foreign drug convicts, including the late high-profile Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, had tried challenging the presidential rejection of their clemency, and failed.

The only thing that can keep Atlaoui now from the firing squad is a political decision.

Indonesia's second round of executions this year created a lot of negative publicity internationally. While the government has not shown any signs of relenting in its stance on the death penalty, the urgency in executing drug convicts seems to have quietly slipped away.


Atlaoui, who is a married father-of-four, was arrested by Jakarta police at a house in Banten province dubbed the "ecstasy pills factory" by local media.

A court found him guilty in 2007 of trafficking 551lb (250kg) of hallucinogens and 306lb of methamphetamines.

He was given the reprieve in May because his appeal of the clemency rejection was still outstanding in the courts.

France takes a very strong stance against the death penalty and President Francois Hollande has warned of diplomatic consequences if Atlaoui is executed.

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