'Ahok Not Guilty,' says a banner held up by a supporter of Jakarta Governor Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama during another hearing in his blasphemy trial on Jan. 3. (Antara Photo/Rivan Awal Lingga)

FPI Witness Demands Ahok's Immediate Arrest as Blasphemy Trial Continues


JANUARY 03, 2017

Jakarta. Arguments broke out during another session in Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama's blasphemy trial on Tuesday (03/01), as the authorities tried to bar journalists from entering the makeshift court room.

The trial on Tuesday presented six witnesses who reported the governor in October for allegedly insulting the Koran in a speech on Pramuka Island in Jakarta's Kepulauan Seribu district.


Presiding judge Dwiarso Budi Santia had initially allowed online and print media journalists to enter the court room but security officers later decided to turn everyone away.

The hearing this time was moved from the old Central Jakarta Courthouse to an auditorium at the Ministry of Agriculture headquarters on Jalan Harsono in South Jakarta.

FPI witness demands Ahok’s immediate arrest

In the courtroom, Islamic Defender’s Front (FPI) Jakarta branch's secretary general Novel Chaidir Hasan demanded that the police put Ahok in detention immediately.

"Ahok has insulted Islam several times, but he has never been arrested," Novel said.

According to Novel's recollection, FPI had already reported Ahok nine times to the authorities.

Basuki, a Christian of Chinese descent, was declared a suspect in a blasphemy investigation in mid-November amid mounting pressure from Muslim hardliners who had staged a series of large demonstrations against him in the last few months.

Last week's hearing saw the judges turn down Basuki's note of objection and call to strike down the case, which his lawyers claimed breached procedures.