Wife fears execution near for Frenchman on Indonesia death row

11th February 2015, Comments 0 comments

The wife of a Frenchman on death row in Indonesia for drug offences said on Wednesday she will continue to fight for his release despite fears he might be executed soon.

Serge Atlaoui, has a "sword of Damocles hanging over his head", his wife Sabine Atlaoui told an anti-death penalty press conference.

The Frenchman, 51, saw his appeal for clemency rejected in January by Indonesian President Joko Widodo, a vocal supporter of capital punishment for drug offenders.

"He is scared that he will never see his children again," said Atlaoui's wife, who said she is still "holding onto hope".

Atlaoui, a father of four, was arrested near Jakarta in 2005 in a secret laboratory producing ecstasy. He was sentenced to death in 2007 on drug trafficking charges.

Imprisoned in Indonesia for ten years, he has always denied the charges saying he was installing industrial machinery in what he thought was an acrylics factory.

According to local media reports, Atlaoui, one of seven foreigners on Indonesia's death row, could soon face execution.

His lawyer in Indonesia filed a request last Tuesday for a trial review, a last-ditch attempt to save his client's life.

Sabine Atlaoui says she has placed all her hopes in the review and will continue to fight for her "innocent" husband.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius was scheduled to visit Indonesia to try to get Atlaoui off death row, but had to postpone his trip because of the crisis in Ukraine.

He did, however, speak to his Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi on Wednesday, to remind him of France's anti-death penalty stance, a foreign ministry spokesperson told AFP.

French President Francois Hollande also wrote to Widodo last month asking him to grant Atlaoui a reprieve, the spokesperson said.

Around 12 Indonesians and foreigners are on death row following drug offence convictions in a country with the some of the toughest drug laws in the world.

The country executed six drug offenders last month, five of them foreigners.


© 2015 AFP

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