Indonesia says death row Frenchman has no more legal options

lawyer-03A French drug convict in Indonesia has exhausted all legal options to avoid the firing squad after losing an appeal this week, Jakarta said Thursday.

A court on Monday dismissed a bid by Serge Atlaoui to challenge the president’s rejection of his plea for clemency, typically a death row convict’s final chance to avoid execution.

Atlaoui was due to be executed alongside eight other drug offenders two months ago but won a temporary reprieve after Paris stepped up pressure, with Indonesian authorities agreeing to let an outstanding appeal run its course.

The lawyers of the Frenchman, who was arrested in 2005 in a secret drugs factory outside Jakarta, have pledged to fight on and said they are exploring other legal routes.

However Indonesian foreign ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir said that Atlaoui’s latest appeal was “the last legal avenue”.

“As far as I know and as far as I understand, there is no more legal avenues that can be pursued on this case,” he told reporters.

Atlaoui’s lawyers could not be immediately contacted for comment.

Nasir said the next step in the case would be up to the attorney-general’s office, which is in charge of executions.

The office has said that Atlaoui will not be put to death during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in Muslim-majority Indonesia, which ends in mid-July.

France has mounted a campaign to save Atlaoui and following the court decision, President Francois Hollande said France was “doing everything” to keep him alive.

Since Monday’s decision, the Indonesian government had yet to receive any communication from the French embassy in Jakarta related to the matter, Nasir said.

Atlaoui had been due to face the firing squad in April with two Australians, a Brazilian, four Nigerians and an Indonesian.

The executions sparked global anger but President Joko Widodo insists convicted traffickers must be harshly punished as Indonesia is facing a drugs crisis.

Authorities accuse Atlaoui, a welder, of being a “chemist” at the secret drugs lab where he was detained. But he has maintained his innocence, claiming that he was installing machinery in what he thought was an acrylics plant.

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