Ahok Moved to Police Custody as He Waits for Suspension of Detention


MAY 10, 2017

Jakarta. The High Court said on Wednesday (10/05) that it cannot respond to the request to suspend Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama's incarceration until it has received a copy of the verdict on his blasphemy trial from the North Jakarta District Court.

The Jakarta governor was found guilty of blasphemy against Islam on Tuesday and is filing an appeal to the High Court.

A Supreme Court spokesman said it has not assembled judges to handle Ahok's appeal. It will do so after it receives the verdict documents.

As previously reported, acting Jakarta Governor Djarot Saiful Hidayat has made an official request to the High Court to suspend Ahok's detention with him as guarantor.

Indonesia has no bail system but investigators, prosecutors and judges can grant a suspension of detention as long as terms and conditions are met.

Ahok's wife Veronica Tan and lawmakers, including Jakarta City Council Speaker Prasetio Edi Marsudi and United Development Party (PPP) chairman Djan Faridz, have also submitted a similar request to the High Court.

The request is essentially for Ahok to be freed from custody until his appeal can be heard.

"The requests for the suspension [of Ahok's custody] have been received, but the verdict documents from the [North Jakarta] district court haven't. We can't come to a decision until that happens," Jakarta High Court spokesman Johanes Suhadi said on Wednesday.

Ahok was transferred from Cipinang Prison in East Jakarta, where his supporters held a vigil on Tuesday night, to a detention center at the police's Mobile Brigade headquarters in Depok, West Java, on Wednesday morning.

Cipinang Prison head warden Asep Sutandar said Ahok was transferred to prevent his supporters from disturbing activities at the prison.

Justice Minister Yasonna Laoly meanwhile said the transfer was made for security reasons and due to overcrowding at the prison's detention facility. Cipinang Prison has both prison and detention facilities.