Frenchman to return home after serving 19-year sentence in Indonesian jail
Issued on: Modified:
A French national who was arrested in 1999 for drug-smuggling is expected to return home on Saturday after spending nearly 20 years in jail or under judicial control in Indonesia.
Michaël Blanc, who is now 45, was detained at Bali airport on Boxing Day 1999 with 3.8 kilos of hashish hidden in bottles.
He claimed a friend had given them to him to transport.
Indonesia has a tough anti-drugs policy and the next year he was sentenced to life in jail, narrowly escaping the death sentence, which has been applied to other foreigners convicted of narcotics offences.
He was granted a partial presidential pardon in 1999 and his sentence was reduced to 20 years.
In 2014 he was freed under judicial control in Jakarta and forbidden to leave the country.
Indonesia automatically deports convicted foreigners at the end of their sentence and Blanc's ends on Saturday.
His mother, Hélène Le Touzey, told the AFP news agency that the date has not been finalised but the procedure was in its final stages.
"I'm very happy, very relieved, full of hope," she said.
Her son will be seeking employment, she said.
Before his arrest he worked as a cook.
Daily news briefReceive essential international news every morningSubscribe