Lawyers representing Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama have reported another opposing witness to police for alleged false testimony in his ongoing blasphemy trial. (Antara Photo/Isra Triansyah)

Ahok's Lawyers Report Fourth Blasphemy Trial Witness to Police for Perjury

BY :BAYU MARHAENJATI & EKO PRASETYO

FEBRUARY 07, 2017

Jakarta. Lawyers representing Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama have reported another opposing witness to police for allegedly giving false testimony during his ongoing blasphemy trial.

I Wayan Sudirta, one of Ahok's lawyers, said they reported Muhammad Asroi Saputra to the Jakarta Police on Monday (06/02), which brings the number of witnesses reported on similar allegations to four.

"There are two crucial requirements [for filing such reports to the police]. First, that the person gave false testimony under oath, and second, that the person is a claimant [or a witness for the claimant]. We have yet to decide whether to report those who are not claimants," Wayan said on Monday evening.

"This time we reported Muhammad Asroi Saputra, who lives in Padang Sidempuan [in North Sumatra]. Previously, in [the police] report, he described himself as a businessman. But in the police investigation report, he is listed as a civil servant," Wayan added.

Asroi allegedly gave false testimony during the trial by claiming to represent the voice of the global Muslim community.

"What matters most was his statement in the police investigation report, or in the recording transcript, where he claims to represent all Muslims in the world," Wayan said.

Ahok's lawyers questioned whether Asroi really represents all Muslims and sent letters to various country representatives and embassies, especially those with Muslim majorities, to confirm the witness's statement.

Suriname, one of the countries that received such a letter, responded by denying that it has any relations with Asroi, or that he speaks for Muslims in the South American country.

"It was proven that the testimony was denied by the embassy of a Muslim majority country," Wayan said.

The three other witnesses reported to police are Novel Chaidir Hasan Bamukmin, secretary general of the hardline Islamic Defenders Front (FPI); Muchsin Alatas, leader of the FPI's Jakarta branch; and Willyuddin Abdul Rasyid Dhani.

The four are facing charges under Article 242 of the Criminal Law.

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