Police may move Jakarta Governor Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama's upcoming blasphemy trial to Cibubur in West Java over security concerns. (Antara Photo/Muhammad Adimaja)

Police Consider Moving Ahok Blasphemy Trial Venue Over Security Concerns

BY :BAYU MARHAENJATI

DECEMBER 07, 2016

Jakarta. Police may move Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama's upcoming blasphemy trial to Cibubur on the outskirts of Jakarta over security concerns.

The trial, which will commence on Dec. 13, was initially planned to take place at the Central Jakarta District Court in Jalan Gajah Mada, but business owners have expressed concern that it will disrupt economic activities in the area.

Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Raden Prabowo Argo Yuwono said they are now considering several venues, including the Jakarta International Expo in Kemayoran and an undisclosed building in Cibubur, West Java.

"We are still weighing up the options and have yet to make a decision, since we have a possible venue in Cibubur. The police's operational bureau head is checking out the venue," Argo told reporters in Jakarta on Wednesday (07/12).

Police are also preparing to implement special security measures during the trial, as several mass groups have already stated their intention to attend the hearing and to stage demonstrations outside the court, both in support of Ahok and against him.

The governor, who is a Christian of Chinese ethnicity, is charged with contravening Article 156 on harassment and Article 156a on blasphemy under the Indonesian Criminal Code. He can face up to five years in prison if convicted.

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