"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed, but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Indonesia Sets Date For Final Death Row Appeal Of Frenchman Serge Atlaoui

Serge Atlaoui
Serge Atlaoui
An Indonesian court said it would hear a last-ditch appeal by a French man on death row on 3 June, after a verdict expected this week was delayed by the absence of the presiding judge.

Serge Atlaoui had been due to face the firing squad with other prisoners in April but won a last-minute reprieve for the completion of his legal appeals.

France's president, Francois Hollande, has warned Indonesia it would face "consequences" if it were to press ahead with his execution.

Indonesia has harsh penalties for drug trafficking and resumed executions in 2013 after a 5-year lull.

The president, Joko Widodo, has rejected clemency pleas from foreign nationals who are among a group of about 60 drug convicts scheduled for execution.

14 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.

Mary Jane Veloso, from the Philippines, was given a last-minute reprieve from execution, but remains on death row.

Widodo has declared the death penalty "positive" for his country, adding: "My duty as president of Indonesia is to carry out the law and I'm sure other countries will understand this.

"Every day 50 young Indonesians die [drug-related deaths]; in 1 year that is 18,000 dead. I hope they understand about that."

The Jakarta administrative court is reviewing Atlaoui's challenge against the president's refusal of clemency.

"As our presiding judge is in training, the court hearing could not take place and we postponed to next week," Judge Indaryadi said in a court session on Tuesday.

The hearing has been rescheduled for 3 June and a verdict is expected soon after.

The attorney general's office has said Atlaoui's current legal challenge would be his last appeal.

Atlaoui was sentenced to death for his involvement in an ecstasy factory in Jakarta that was capable of producing 100kg (220lb) of the illegal pills every week. He has always protested his innocence, saying he believed he was carrying out work installing industrial machines in an empty factory building.

If Atlaoui were to be shot by Indonesian firing squad, he would be the 1st French person to be executed in 38 years.

Source: Malaysian Digest, May 27, 2015

Related article:
- Recours de Serge Atlaoui : nouveau report au 3 juin, Le Parisien, May 26, 2015

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