No Requests Yet for Witness Protection in Ahok Blasphemy Trial: Agency

BY :YEREMIA SUKOYO & EKO PRASETYO

DECEMBER 16, 2016

Jakarta. Indonesia's Witness and Victim Protection Agency, or LPSK, said it is ready to provide protection to witnesses in the high-profile blasphemy case against Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama.

"The LPSK will consider any requests for protection objectively," LPSK deputy chairwoman Lili Pintauli Siregar said in Jakarta on Friday (16/12).

However, there have been no requests yet for protection by any witnesses, legal representatives, prosecutors, judges or the complainant, Lili said.

"So far we have not had any. Witnesses can come forward on their own, or via their legal representatives, counselors or law enforcers, be it members of the police, prosecutors, or judges," she said.

The 2014 Law on Witness and Victim Protection gives witnesses, victims, complainants, defendants and whistleblowers the right to request state protection.

The first session of the blasphemy trial took place at the Central Jakarta District Court on Tuesday.

Ahok was named a suspect in the blasphemy case on Nov. 16, following a campaign speech he made on Pramuka Island in Jakarta's Thousand Islands district in September, in which he made references to a Koranic verse.

Prosecutors have charged the governor, who is a Christian of Chinese ethnicity, with violating Article 156 and Article 156a of the Criminal Law.

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