[This article was updated on Tuesday (25/04) at 5:30 p.m. to add footage of Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama.]
Jakarta. Incumbent Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama pleaded not guilty during a court hearing in his blasphemy trial on Tuesday (25/04), likening his recent legal battles to that of the title character in Disney's 2003 "Finding Nemo."
"We must all be honest, even if it's not the popular thing to do. Perhaps people won't appreciate us for telling the truth, but that shouldn't matter, as only God can judge. This I learned from 'Finding Nemo,'" Ahok said in a makeshift courtroom at the Ministry of Agriculture headquarters in Ragunan, South Jakarta.
Nemo's underlying struggle is one of going against the grain in search of truth.
"So, if people asked me, 'Who are you?' I would say I am just like Nemo, swimming against the current of Jakarta," he said, as quoted by state-run news agency Antara.
The embattled governor said no honest efforts are futile, because only God can give final judgement.
"God looks inside my heart, and he knows what's in it," Ahok said. "I am like Nemo, who will always help the poor and those who need it, even though I have been defamed and smeared for belonging to a minority religion in this city."
He emphasized that state prosecutors do not have sufficient evidence to indict him on blasphemy or harassment charges.
"It is proven that I am no blasphemer," Ahok said.
The governor's legal team pleaded not guilty during Ahok's day in court on Tuesday. Wayan Sudirta, a member of the defense, said their plea consists of 634 pages.
Last Thursday, North Jakarta District Court prosecutors demanded two years probation with a possible one-year jail term for Ahok, downgrading the charge against the embattled governor, who has been on trial since November last year after quoting a Koranic verse during a speech on Pramuka Island in Jakarta's Thousand Islands district.
Ahok is scheduled to appear at the court on May 9 to receive his sentencing.
Watch Indonesia Highlights at 8 p.m. tonight on the Jakarta Globe News Channel and Facebook Live to find out more about the trial against Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama.