Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama walks into court at his blasphemy trial in South Jakarta on Tuesday (21/02). (Antara Photo/M. Agung Rajasa)

Criminal Expert Witness Says Ahok Guilty of 'Desecrating' Koran

BY :BAYU MARHAENJATI

FEBRUARY 22, 2017

Jakarta. A criminal expert witness has used the word "desecration" rather than "insult" to describe what Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama did when he referred to a verse in the Koran in a speech on Pramuka Island in September last year which triggered the blasphemy charge — and now trial — against him.

Mudzakir spoke as an expert witness in Ahok's blasphemy trial on Tuesday (21/02) in South Jakarta. According to him, Ahok was guilty of desecrating Islam since in his Pramuka Island speech he referred directly to a Koranic verse, and not its translation.

"Ahok desecrated [Koranic verse] Al Maidah 51," Mudzakkir said. "Calling it an insult is taking it a bit lightly."

"Just as someone might desecrate a flag, Ahok desecrated the Koranic verse he quoted. It would've been different had he referred to a translation of the verse, then he would be guilty of insulting the translation," he added.

Mudzakkir said the court should charge Ahok with article 156a of the Criminal Law.

"That article also uses the word 'desecration,'" he said. In Indonesian, the word is "penodaan."

Ahok has resumed his job as governor after taking a temporary leave to campaign for his re-election from October to February. He also had to stand trial while campaigning.

Several Muslim groups have demanded that Ahok should be suspended from his position as governor since he is currently a suspect in an ongoing trial.

Thousands of protesters took part in yet another rally in Jakarta on Tuesday to demand Ahok's suspension.

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