Five Defense Witnesses to Appear in Tuesday Session of Ahok Blasphemy Trial


MARCH 14, 2017

Jakarta. The 14th session of the blasphemy trial against Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama on Tuesday (14/03) is expected to feature five defense witnesses.

Criminal law expert Edward Omar Sharif Hiariej from Yogyakarta's Gadjah Mada University, civil servants from Bangka Belitung administration Juhri and Ferry Lukmantara, driver and resident of East Belitung district Suyanto, and Ahok's childhood friend Fajrun will speak about the governor's past to testify that he had no intention to insult the Koran or anyone's religious feelings.


"We hope all witnesses will be able to attend the hearing," North Jakarta District Court spokesman Hasoloan Sianturi said, as reported by Antara news agency.

Ahok has been defending himself against blasphemy accusations since December, after a doctored video of a speech in which he objected to using Koranic verses for political gain had gone viral on social media.

He has been charged with blasphemy and cyber harassment.

The hearing at the auditorium of the Ministry of Agriculture in Ragunan, South Jakarta, started at 9 a.m.