Jakarta Governor Ahok at his blasphemy trial in January. (Antara Photo/Dharma Wijayanto)

Ahok Denies 'Illegal Campaigning' Claim During Fifth Session of Blasphemy Trial


JANUARY 11, 2017

Jakarta. Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama has denied witness testimony which said he conducted illegal campaign activities during a speech last year which led to blasphemy charges.

Witness for the prosecution Irena Handono made the claim during the fifth day of the governor's blasphemy trial in South Jakarta on Tuesday (10/01).


“Which words [in the video] show that I conducted an illegal campaign? I was only trying to educate the public not to choose me if they do not wish for it in the Jakarta gubernatorial election,” Ahok said Tuesday.

Ahok criticized Irena's claim that the residents in attendance at the speech were actually subordinates of the office.

“There were members of Jakarta Legislative Council, ulema. Who were my subordinates? None of those,” Ahok said.

During his testimony, Irena said Ahok's speech was a form of hate speech against Islam.

“[Ahok] used reversed language which says do not worry about not voting for me, do not be afraid of not entering heaven, do not be fooled [by people] using Al-Maida 51,” Irena said, referring to a verse of the Koran often invoked to encourage Muslims to only vote for Muslim candidates.

The Koran verse, mentioned during the governor's campaign speech at Pramuka Island in October, provoked the calls for blasphemy charges.