Jakarta Governor Basuki 'Ahok' Thahaja Purnama visits local legend Mbak Priok's grave in North Jakarta in his office uniform on Tuesday (14/02). (Antara Photo/Aprillio Akbar)

No Suspension for Ahok Until Prosecutors Issue Sentence Demand: Minister

BY :NOVI SETUNINGSIH & EKO PRASETYO

FEBRUARY 15, 2017

Jakarta. Home Affairs Minister Tjahjo Kumolo will wait for the prosecutors to announce the sentence they demand in Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama's blasphemy trial before deciding whether or not to suspend the governor.

Tjahjo said he will seek a directive from the Supreme Court regarding Ahok's case, but will not push the highest legal body in the land to issue it in a rush.

"The decision to suspend [Ahok], or not suspend him, will be based on what sentence the prosecutors demand. That will be announced after the court has heard all the witness testimonies. Once we know how many years the prosecutors demand, I will make [the decision]," Tjahjo said in Jakarta on Tuesday (14/02).

Only regional leaders facing charges involving more than five years' imprisonment can be suspended once the sentence becomes legally binding.

"If the prosecutors demand more than five years, I will suspend Ahok," Tjahjo said.

Previously, lawmakers of several parties have called on the House of Representatives to initiate a right of inquiry, or hak angket, to challenge a decision by Tjahjo not to suspend Ahok, who is currently standing trial on blasphemy charges.

Ahok returned to office on Sunday from mandatory leave during his re-election campaign, which started on Oct. 28 last year. His term ends in October this year.

Ahok is accused of blasphemy and cyber-harassment in a trial which entered its tenth session on Monday.

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