Jakarta Deputy Governor Djarot Saiful Hidayat sits down with Governor Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama at Cipinang State Penitentiary in East Jakarta on Tuesday (09/05). (BeritaSatu Photo)

Djarot Asks High Court to Release Ahok Until Appeal Is Heard


MAY 09, 2017

Jakarta. Jakarta Deputy Governor Djarot Saiful Hidayat filed a request with high court officials on Tuesday (09/05) to release incumbent Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama from prison until an appeal of the governor's recent sentencing can be heard.

Ahok was found guilty of blasphemy by the North Jakarta District Court on Tuesday morning and was subsequently sentenced to two years imprisonment.

However, Djarot said he would serve as the governor's guarantor, vouching that Ahok would not attempt to flee justice if allowed to resume duties as acting governor of the capital until his appeal can be heard by the Administrative High Court of Jakarta.

Djarot visited Ahok in Cipinang State Penitentiary in East Jakarta on Tuesday afternoon after the district court's widely controversial ruling in the embattled governor's months-long blasphemy case.

"We respect the verdict from the judges. However, we also have the right for an appeal. Meaning [Ahok's] lawyers have also done their duties," Djarot said.

"I, as deputy governor of Jakarta, propose to become a guarantor for Ahok and request that the governor be released until an appeal can be heard."

Djarot added that because Ahok didn't "misplace any evidence" related to his blasphemy trial, the governor should be granted a temporary release.

"This will also guarantee that Ahok continues as acting governor until his appeal is heard," he said.

"We hope for the suspension of detention to be accepted. I have also proposed it to the court. As I said, we should focus on delivering the best services for Jakarta residents until October."

Djarot, along with Ahok's legal defense team, submitted that request to high court officials earlier in the day.

The deputy governor extended his full support to Ahok and his family following Tuesday's court ruling in a meeting with the incumbent's wife Veronica Tan and son Nicholas.