Frenchman held in Indonesia for alleged child molestation kills himself: Police

Francois Camille Abello during police a press conference in Jakarta, on July 9, 2020.
Francois Camille Abello during police a press conference in Jakarta, on July 9, 2020.PHOTO: AFP

JAKARTA (AFP) - A French national detained in Indonesia on suspicion of molesting over hundreds of children has died by apparent suicide, police said Monday (July 13).

Francois Camille Abello, 65, was found last Thursday unresponsive inside his cell at a detention centre in Jakarta, said police spokesman Yusri Yunus.

"After three days of treatment, he was pronounced dead," Mr Yunus told reporters on Monday.

Mr Umar Shahab, an official at National Police Hospital in Jakarta, said doctors reported that the French retiree had a neck fracture, and the injury blocked the supply of oxygen.

The pensioner was arrested last month in a hotel in Jakarta with two underage girls in his room.

He was paraded on Thursday in handcuffs wearing an orange prison shirt and black face mask at a police press conference.

Police said they found videos on Abello's computer that showed him engaging in illegal sex acts with over 300 children aged between 10 and 17.

They said he would approach children and lure them with offers of work as models. Those who refused to have sex were beaten.

Abello faced life in prison, chemical castration, or even execution by firing squad if convicted on a raft of charges under Indonesia's child protection laws.

 

The French embassy in Jakarta, contacted by AFP, declined to comment on the case.