Prosecutors demand a two-year probation period with a possible one-year jail term for Jakarta Governor Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama. (Antara Photo/Gilang Praja)

Ahok to Receive Verdict on May 9: Judge


APRIL 26, 2017

Jakarta. North Jakarta District Court judges have scheduled Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama to receive his verdict on his long-running blasphemy case — in which the charges have been downgraded to publicly expressing feelings of hostility, hatred or contempt against one or more population groups — on May 9.

Chief judge Dwiarso Budi Santiarto said on Tuesday (25/04) Ahok is required to appear at a makeshift courtroom in the Ministry of Agriculture headquarters in South Jakarta on May 9 to hear the verdict on his case.

"The accused [Ahok] is required to attend that court session," Dwiarso said, according to state news agency Antara.

Jakarta Metropolitan Police spokesman Chief Comr. Raden Prabowo Argo Yuwono said the police will beef up security during the May 9 session.

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 had been facing blasphemy charges since November last year after criticizing his political rivals for using verse 51 of the Koran’s Al-Maidah chapter to discredit him.

Police named Ahok a suspect in November after more than 100,000 Muslims marched against the governor, who is a Christian of Chinese descent.

Prosecutors opted not to charge Ahok with Arcticle 156a of the Criminal Code on blasphemy, arguing that his criticism was directed at people, not the Koran.