Felix Dorfin has been sentenced to death in a surprise verdict after prosecutors asked for a 20-year jail term. Indonesia has some of the world's strictest drug laws — including death by firing squad.
A court in Indonesia on Monday sentenced Frenchman Felix Dorfin for drug trafficking. Prosecutors had requested 20 years' imprisonment.
"After finding Felix Dorfin legally and convincingly guilty of importing narcotics ... [he] is sentenced to the death penalty," presiding judge Isnurul Syamsul Arif told the court on Lombok Island.
The 35-year-old man from Bethune in northern France was arrested at the end of September at the airport on Lombok — a tourist island near Bali. He had arrived from Singapore with, according to the authorities, nearly four kilograms of cocaine, ecstasy and amphetamines hidden in a double-bottomed suitcase.
Another French citizen, Serge Atlaoui, has been on death row in Indonesia since 2007. He was originally to be executed in 2015, however was granted a temporary reprieve pending a decision on a legal appeal.
Dorfin had escaped from police detention in January and went on the run for 11 days before being recaptured in a forest on Lombok Island. A female police officer was arrested for allegedly helping him escape in exchange for money. It was not clear if the jailbreak played any role in Monday's stiffer-than-expected sentence.
The death sentence came as a shock to Dorfin and his lawyer, Deny Nur, as prosecutors had only requested 20 years imprisonment. Nur said he would appeal against the death sentence. He described Dorfin as a "victim" who did not know the exact contents of what he was carrying.
Indonesia has not executed anyone since 2016, but a number of foreigners are still on death row including Frenchman Serge Atlaoui and Lindsay Sandiford, a cocaine-smuggling British grandmother, who have been on death row since 2007 and 2013 respectively.