More Expert Witnesses to Testify in Ahok Blasphemy Trial on Tuesday

Incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama, center, said he has made no preparations ahead of the 15th session of his blasphemy trial on Tuesday (21/03). (Antara Photo/Muhammad Adimaja)

By : Lenny Tristia Tambun & Eko Prasetyo | on 10:35 AM March 21, 2017
Category : News, Crime, Jakarta, Politics

This article was updated on Tuesday (21/03) at 6 p.m. to add a statement from Ahok’s lawyer.

Jakarta. Incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama said he has made no preparations ahead of the 15th session of his blasphemy trial on Tuesday (21/03).

The session was set to commence at 9 a.m. in the auditorium of the Ministry of Agriculture in Ragunan, South Jakarta.

The court was expected to hear more testimony from the defendant's expert witnesses.

"Tomorrow is the 15th session. I will only hear [what the witnesses say]. They are our expert witnesses," Ahok said in Central Jakarta on Monday.

Ahok's legal team is scheduled to present three expert witnesses, including Ahmad Ishomuddin, a renowned cleric from the Nadhlatul Ulama (NU).

The other two are Djisman Samosir, a lecturer at Parahyangan University's law faculty, and Rahayu Surtiati, a linguistics professor at the University of Indonesia.

Several witnesses testified during the previous trial session. This included Juhri, a civil servant from Belitung in the Bangka-Belitung Islands, Suyanto, a driver for Ahok's family, and Fajrun, Ahok's childhood friend.

The governor has repeatedly denied the blasphemy accusations against him after a doctored video of a speech, in which he objected to the use of Koranic verses for political gain, went viral on social media last year.

According to Ahok’s lawyer, Teguh Samudra, the expert witnesses will provide insights from religious, linguistic and criminal perspectives.

"These expert witnesses will explain the theories based on their expertise or experience, that Basuki Tjahaja Purnama's previous action did not meet the criteria of the criminal law. Let the experts explain thoroughly, so it will provide solutions and clear the matter. The charges made by those who hate Ahok can be revealed to be legally based on theories," Teguh said ahead of the trial on Tuesday.

Watch Indonesia Highlights at 8 p.m. tonight on the Jakarta Globe News Channel and Facebook Live to find out more about the 15th session of blasphemy trial against Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama.

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