Death row inmate Serge Atlaoui of France arrives for his judicial review at Tangerang District Court in Tangerang, Banten province. An Indonesian court rejected Atlaoui's last-ditch appeal against the death sentence on June 22, 2015, making him the latest foreigner to face imminent execution for drug offenses. (Reuters/Beawiharta)

French Convict on Death Row in Indonesia Loses Clemency Appeal


JUNE 22, 2015

Jakarta. An Indonesian court rejected a French national's last-ditch appeal against the death sentence on Monday, making him the latest foreigner to face imminent execution for drug offenses.

Serge Atlaoui had been granted a last-minute reprieve while legal avenues were exhausted and was left out of a group of seven foreign prisoners who were executed in April 29.

The executions of those foreigners — four Nigerians, two Australians and a Brazilian — brought international condemnation of President Joko Widodo's tough stance against drug trafficking.

The Attorney General's Office, which could not be reached for comment on Monday, has said Atlaoui's appeal against a refusal of his clemency bid was the final legal option available to him.

An execution date has not yet been set, but a spokesman for the AGO revealed the Frenchman would not face the firing squad during the holy month of Ramadan.

Atlaoui's lawyer, Nancy Yuliana Sunjoto, said they would still look for other legal channels despite Monday's decision.

"We are disappointed with this outcome," Sunjoto told reporters outside the state administrative court in Jakarta.

"From the beginning, we have known that he didn't do anything wrong," she said.

A French embassy official at the court declined to comment on the ruling. French President François Hollande warned Indonesia of diplomatic consequences last month should Atlaoui's execution go ahead.

Atlaoui was arrested in a raid on a factory producing ecstasy pills on the outskirts of the capital, Jakarta, in 2005. He has maintained his innocence, saying he thought he was working in an acrylics factory.

"He didn't know anything about the chemicals. He's just a welding technician," Sunjoto said.

Joko's refusal to grant clemency despite repeated pleas for mercy has strained Indonesia's relations with a number of countries including Australia, Brazil, the Netherlands and Nigeria, which have all had citizens on death row.

Indonesia has harsh punishments for drug crimes but imposed an informal moratorium on executions for five years before resuming in 2013. Under Joko's term, Indonesia has executed 14 convicts, mostly foreign citizens, so far this year.