Jakarta. The team of lawyers defending Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama in his blasphemy trial plans to file an appeal against the presiding judges who they claim had ignored an earlier Constitutional Court ruling which should have exonerated Ahok.
Trimoelja D. Soerjadi, the head of Ahok’s defense team, said in a written statement on Wednesday (28/12) that the judges' decision to reject Ahok’s objection to his charges contains many irregularities.
One of them is that the judges did not consider an earlier Constitutional Court ruling that says the defendant in a criminal case should not be charged with article 156a of the Criminal Law without first receiving a stern warning.
According to the lawyers, the judges had ignored this ruling without any argumentation.
"The decision [to continue the blasphemy trial] has been a disappointment. The Constitutional Court ruling was not even mentioned," Trimoelja said.
Trimoelja also pointed out that the case against Ahok is being processed at an unusually fast pace.
"I have been a lawyer for 50 years, and I have never seen a case being processed this fast. […] The public should know that there is massive pressure on the police and the judges. The court and the state should not bow to public pressure," he said.
Another member of the defense team, Humphrey R. Djemat, said, "Ahok is the victim here. And he's now facing a trial by media, a violation of human rights in itself."
Nevertheless, Humphrey believes the judges will come to their verdict independently.
"The court is a place to seek justice. The witness examination will be a real battle. We will go all out to free Ahok," he said.