May 27, 2015 / 3:16 AM / 2 years ago

Indonesian court delays appeal hearing of French death row convict

Cardinal George Pell gestures as he talks during a news conference for the presentation of new president of Vatican Bank IOR, at the Vatican July 9, 2014. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

JAKARTA (Reuters) - An Indonesian court has fixed June 3 to hear a last-ditch appeal by a French drug trafficker on death row, after a verdict expected this week was delayed by the absence of the presiding judge, a judge said.

Serge Atlaoui had been due to face the firing squad with other convicts last month, but won a last-minute reprieve for the completion of his legal appeals.

France’s foreign minister has warned Indonesia it would face repercussions if the Southeast Asian nation went ahead with his execution.

Indonesia has harsh penalties for drug trafficking and resumed executions in 2013 after a five-year lull.

President Joko Widodo has rejected clemency pleas from foreign nationals who are among a group of around 60 drug convicts scheduled for execution. Fourteen have been executed this year.

The Jakarta administrative court is reviewing Atlaoui’s challenge against the president’s refusal of clemency.

“As our presiding judge is in training, the court hearing could not take place and we postponed to next week,” Judge Indaryadi said in a court session on Tuesday.

The hearing has been rescheduled for June 3 and a verdict is expected soon after.

The Attorney General’s Office has said Atlaoui’s current legal challenge would be his last appeal.

Atlaoui was sentenced to death for his involvement in an ecstasy factory in Jakarta that was capable of producing 100 kg (220 lb) of the illegal pills every week.

Reporting by Mirza Ayu Anindita; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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