Indonesia poised to execute French national

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By Everton Gayle
Indonesia poised to execute French national

A Frenchman is among the next group of convicted offenders soon to be executed by the Indonesian government for drug offences.

Serge Atlaoui has been in prison since 2005 and on death row since 2007. The welder from Metz is among seven foreigners – including two Australians – who lost their appeal for clemency.

The 50-year-old maintains he was paid to maintain machines at an acrylic factory in Jakarta. By the time he realized that it was used to produce ecstasy it was too late. He was arrested and found guilty. During the first trial he was sentenced to life in prison but the prosecution appealed and Indonesia’s supreme court overruled the verdict and sentenced him to death.

Jakarta is unlikely to back down in the face of protests. Prime Minister Joko Widodo has consistently held a hard line against convicted offenders. During a recent CNN interview he said: “We are not going to compromise for drug dealers.”

The government executed five foreigners including a Dutchman and a Brazilian for drug trafficking in January despite appeals at the highest level to spare them. The executions were greeted by anger in Brasilia and Amsterdam, who recalled their ambassadors in protest.​