French drug smuggler's death sentence commuted in Indonesia

The ruling comes less than three months after a lower court handed a capital sentence to Felix Dorfin, who was arrested last year at the airport on the holiday island next to Bali.
The ruling comes less than three months after a lower court handed a capital sentence to Felix Dorfin, who was arrested last year at the airport on the holiday island next to Bali.PHOTO: AFP

JAKARTA (AFP) - An Indonesian court has commuted French drug smuggler Felix Dorfin's death sentence to 19 years in prison, his lawyer told AFP on Friday (Aug 2).

"Dorfin's sentence has been commuted from death," said the 35-year-old Frenchman's lawyer, Mr Denny Nur Indra, citing the ruling by the high court on the island of Lombok, which is expected to be made public later on Friday.

The ruling comes less than three months after a lower court handed a capital sentence to Dorfin, who was arrested last year at the airport on the holiday island next to Bali, where foreigners are often charged with drugs offences.

It was not immediately clear if prosecutors would appeal the decision by the Mataram High Court.

"We're going to deliberate and decide whether or not to file an appeal," said prosecutor Ginung Pratidina.

The original death sentence was unexpected because prosecutors had asked for a 20-year jail term. Indonesian courts have been known to issue punishments that are tougher than the sentence demanded.

Dorfin was carrying a suitcase filled with about three kilograms of drugs, including ecstasy and amphetamines, when he was arrested.

The South-east Asian archipelago has some of the world's strictest drug laws - including death for traffickers.

 

It has executed foreigners in the past, including the masterminds of Australia's Bali Nine heroin gang.