Brazil presses to avert national's execution in Indonesia

BRASILIA, Brazil (AFP) - The Brazilian government said Saturday it was pressing ahead with diplomatic efforts to prevent the execution of a Brazilian sentenced to death by firing squad in Indonesia.

Rodrigo Muxfeldt Gularte was among nine foreign drug convicts whose death sentence was confirmed earlier in the day by Indonesia.

A spokesman for Indonesia's attorney-general said an exact date had not yet been set for the firing squad executions.

The Brazilian foreign ministry told the G1 news website that the government would pursue "high-level" contacts to press Indonesia to suspend the execution for humanitarian reasons, saying Gularte suffers from schizophrenia.

The 42-year-old's family has presented several doctors' reports to the Indonesian authorities attesting to the fact that he is a schizophrenic.

Gularte was caught entering the country in 2004 with six kilograms of cocaine hidden in surf boards, and was sentenced to death in 2005.

The foreign ministry said Brazilian diplomats would continue to provide consular assistance to Gularte "as far as possible," but stressed its respect for Indonesia's sovereignty and recognised the seriousness of his crime.

Brazil's charge d'affairs in Jakarta, Leonardo Carvalho Monteiro, was with Gularte when he was notified that he would be executed, the ministry said.

If the sentence is carried out, Gularte would be the second Brazilian executed in Indonesia this year.

In January, Marco Archer Cardoso Moreira was put to death after being convicted of drug trafficking, which touched off a diplomatic crisis between Jakarta and Brasilia.