Jakarta governor Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama arrives at the police's criminal investigation unit headquarters in Jakarta on Tuesday (22/11) to be questioned as a suspect in a blasphemy investigation. (Antara Photo/Reno Esnir)

Ahok Interrogated as Suspect in Blasphemy Case


NOVEMBER 22, 2016

Jakarta. Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama was questioned by police investigators in a blasphemy case, in which he has been declared a suspect, at the National Police’s criminal investigation unit headquarters on Tuesday morning (22/11).

Basuki's campaign team spokesman Ruhut Sitompul said Ahok was accompanied by lawyers sent by political parties which back him in next year's Jakarta governor race during the examination.

"Ahok's legal team is made up of lawyers from the four parties backing him as governor, and another one provided by the PPP [United Development Party]," Ruhut said.

The defense lawyer from PPP is Humphrey Djemat, the party's secretary general elected in its Jakarta Congress. The other lawyers were sent by the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), the Golkar Party, the National Democratic Party (Nasdem) and the People's Conscience Party (Hanura).

"All the lawyers are working pro bono. I am moved [by their action]," Ruhut said.

Ruhut stressed that Ahok has been cooperating well with the police, which have resisted public calls to arrest the governor after he was declared a suspect.

"With my 40 years as a lawyer, I can say that you can't easily influence the police," Ruhut said, referring to the police's steadfast refusal to detain Ahok.

Ahok is accused of insulting Islam after he warned people not to trust politicians telling them not to vote for him — an ethnic Chinese and a Christian — by quoting a Koranic verse during a speech in Pramuka Island.

Ahok has already been questioned twice, both times as a witness, in the blasphemy investigation.