Jakarta. Incumbent Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama has apologized to chairman of the Indonesian Ulema Council, or MUI, Ma'ruf Amin, after objecting to his testimony during the blasphemy trial on Tuesday (31/01).
During the eighth session of Ahok's trial, Ma'ruf made statements contradicting information the incumbent governor's lawyers have in their possession. The governor also accused Ma'ruf of not being objective in his testimony, because he reportedly supports the former president's son Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono and his running mate Sylviana Murni in this month's Jakarta gubernatorial election.
Ahok added that his legal team had obtained evidence of a requested meeting between Ma'ruf, Agus and Sylviana, and a phone call between Ma'ruf and Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, although the cleric denied it.
Ahok's objection was interpreted by the largest Indonesian Muslim organization Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) as an insult against their spiritual leader.
"I apologize to Ma'ruf Amin if it seemed that I wanted to corner him," Ahok said in Jakarta on Wednesday.
"I acknowledge him as an NU elder and I respect him a lot, like I respect other prominent NU figures, such as Gus Dur [Abdurrahman Wahid] and Gus Mus [Mustofa Bisri]," he added.
He said he will not file any reports against Ma'ruf.
"What happened yesterday was part of the trial process, where I, as a defendant, was seeking justice in my case," Ahok said.
Ahok added that the information on a phone call between Yudhoyono and Ma'ruf, which the latter denied during the trial session, was based on a media report from Oct. 7.