Indonesia rejects death row French convict’s appeal

Jakarta, June 22 (IANS) An Indonesian court on Monday rejected an appeal by a French drug convict on death row.

“We reject the challenge by the challenger,” presiding Judge Ujang Abdullah told the State Administrative Court in Jakarta, ruling on the appeal brought by Serge Atlaoui.

Atlaoui was sentenced to death for his involvement in an ecstasy factory in Jakarta that was capable of producing 100 kg of the illegal hallucinogen every week. He has denied any involvement.

If Atlaoui were to be shot by Indonesian firing squad, he would be the first French person to be executed in 38 years.

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, Channel News Asia reported.

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

Fourteen have been executed this year, including Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran; Nigerians Raheem Salami, Silvester Obiekwe Nwolise, Okwudili Oyatanze and Martin Anderson; Brazilian Rodrigo Gularte and Indonesian Zainal Abidin, who were all shot dead in April.

The executions have sparked global outrage.

But Widodo insists that convicted traffickers must be harshly punished, saying Indonesia is facing a crisis due to rising drugs use.

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