AAA  Apr. 25, 2015 1:12 PM ET
Frenchman's execution in Indonesia may be suspended
  •       AIM
  •       Share

Buy AP Photo Reprints

(AP) — France is stepping up efforts to save the life a Frenchman facing a firing squad in Indonesia on drug charges, amid signs that his execution may be suspended.

Serge Atlaoui is among 10 foreigners slated for execution in the coming days in Indonesia. His case has drawn national attention in France, which vigorously opposes the death penalty.

French Foreign Ministry spokesman Romain Nadal said Saturday the government is intensifying its mobilization and is determined to prevent the execution. Scores of people gathered in Paris and Atlaoui's hometown of Metz on Saturday to urge Indonesia to halt his execution, some shouting "Hope! Hope!"

Atlaoui's fate may be on hold because of a legal complaint over the procedure followed in his request for clemency.

The French ambassador was not summoned to a meeting with Indonesian authorities Saturday for formal notification of the execution, unlike consular officials from other countries. A lawyer for Atlaoui, Richard Sedillot, said the decision was apparently linked to the legal complaint.

"Mr. Atlaoui thought that he would leave last night" for the execution site, Sedillot said. "He prepared his bag and finally he discovered that he wasn't on the list of those who are going to be executed."

Sedillot said he remained "very, very prudent" about Atlaoui's fate. And Atlaoui's wife Sabine called into the Paris rally from Indonesia, telling his supporters, "The fight has not ended .... We should continue to mobilize."

French President Francois Hollande has warned of diplomatic consequences if Atlaoui is executed, and said Saturday that there could be possible economic fallout as well, according to French media reports.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, whose government is protesting Indonesia's impending execution of two Australians, arrives in Paris on Saturday night and is expected to discuss the situation with Hollande.

Associated Press
  •       AIM
  •       Share