Veronica Tan, center, wife of Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama, accompanied by lawyers Fifi Lety Indra, left, and Josefina Agatha Syukur, arrive at the North Jakarta District Court on Monday (22/05). (Antara Photo/Galih Pradipta)

Ahok's Lawyers Withdraw Appeal Against His Blasphemy Conviction


MAY 22, 2017

Jakarta. Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama and his legal team decided at the last minute on Monday (22/05) not to proceed with an appeal against his blasphemy conviction.

But the reasons behind the unexpected decision, two weeks after the incumbent Jakarta governor was sentenced to two years in prison, remain unclear.


Ahok's lawyers said immediately after the verdict that they would appeal, and attended the North Jakarta District Court on Monday to do so.

However, instead of continuing with the appeal, they decided to withdraw the application altogether, North Jakarta District Court spokesman Hasoloan Sianturi told the Jakarta Globe.

"There's no reason cited for the withdrawal, only a letter stating withdrawal of the appeal," he said.

Ahok's lawyer and sister, Fifi Lety Indra, declined to give details of Monday's decision.

"Please attend the press conference tomorrow morning," she said.

Ahok was found guilty earlier this month of insulting Islam, after thousands of hardline Muslims continuously took the streets of Jakarta for months, putting massive pressure on the judges in the case.

Ahok was initially detained at Cipinang Prison in East Jakarta before being transferred the headquarters of the National Police's Mobile Brigade in Depok, West Java, for security reasons two days later.