French drug smuggler’s death sentence in Indonesia ‘commuted to 19 years’

Felix Dorfin
The ruling overturns a lower court's decision to sentence Felix Dorfin to death

A Frenchman sentenced to death for drug trafficking in Indonesia has had his sentence commuted to 19 years in jail, his lawyer and media have said.

Félix Dorfin, 35, had been convicted of trafficking about 3kg (6.6lb) of various drugs into the Indonesian holiday island of Lombok.

The Mataram high court ruling overturns the death penalty imposed by a lower court less than three months ago.

Indonesia has some of the world’s strictest drug laws.

Dorfin’s lawyer, Denny Nur Indra, welcomed the ruling, telling Agence France-Presse news agency: “Praise be to God, Dorfin’s sentence has been commuted.”

It is not clear whether prosecutors will appeal against the latest sentence.

The Antara news agency said that although the ruling had been recorded, it had yet to be officially delivered to the parties concerned. The reasons for the ruling are expected to be made public later on Friday.

Antara said a fine of 10bn rupees ($703,000; £580,000) had also been imposed.

Dorfin was arrested in September last year at the airport in Lombok where he had flown in from Singapore.

He was carrying a suitcase filled with drugs including ecstasy and amphetamines.

The judge in the lower court cited Dorfin’s involvement in an international drug syndicate and the amount of drugs in his possession as aggravating factors.

The death penalty verdict came as a shock as prosecutors had requested 20 years in jail and a fine of $700,000 (£540,000).

No-one has been executed in the country since 2016, although a number of foreigners remain on death row.

Earlier in the year, Dorfin escaped from the prison he was being held in, by sawing off the bars on his cell’s window and rappelling down with a rope made of a sarong and curtains, reports say.

A female police officer was arrested for allegedly helping him escape in exchange for money.

He was later recaptured by police who found him hiding in a forest in the north of the island.


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