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INDONESIa - France

Indonesian court rejects French man's appeal against death sentence

Serge Atlaoui leaving court at an earlier stage of the legal process
Serge Atlaoui leaving court at an earlier stage of the legal process Reuters/Jefri Tarigan

A Frenchman on death row in Indonesia has lost his final appeal. Serge Atlaoui, who was arrested at an ecstasy laboratory in 2005, faces the death sentence as part of Jakarta's crackdown on the drugs trade.

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 Indonesia's Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected Atlaoui's bid for a judicial review, his last chance to avoid death by firing squad.

The three judges found that there were not enough new elements to justify granting his appeal, one of them, Suhadi, said.

Atlaoui, a 51-year-old father of four, was arrested near Jakarta in 2005 in a secret laboratory producing ecstasy and was sentenced to death two years later - the only one of the nine arrested to receive the death sentence.

He said he was installing machinery and thought the factory produced acrylics.

France last week warned that his execution would have consequences for the two countries' bilateral relations.

French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius on Tuesday called for a "gesture of leniency", pointing out that "everybody recognises" that Atlaoui played only a minor role in the operation and that the Indonesian nationals have not been condemned to death.

Atlaoui is one of several foreigners, including two Australians who are appealing to Indonesia's Constitutinal Court, on death row.

A Ghanaian among the group is appealing to the Supreme Court.

They are likely to be executed once final appeal procedures are exhausted.

Six people, five of them foreigners, were executed by firing squad in January, causing Brazil and the Netherlands withdrew their ambassadors in protest.

Jakarta last week protested at the execution of two Indonesia women in Saudi Arabia.

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