Jakarta. Petrus Bala Pattyona, a lecturer from Krisnadwipayana University’s Faculty of Law, said four of the witnesses presented by the prosecutors in Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama's blasphemy trial on Tuesday (03/01) were unreliable at best and should not have been allowed to take the witness stand.
The witnesses had given their testimonies on the governor's speech at Pramuka Island in October, in which he reportedly insulted the Koran and which subsequently triggered the blasphemy allegation against him.
Petrus said judges should dismiss their testimonies as article 1 paragraph 27 of the Criminal Law states that a witness is someone who has experienced, heard or seen an event in person.
Since the witnesses’ testimonies were based on what they have learned from other people, they should be struck down from the court record.
"Did the prosecutors know how to apply the Criminal Law? Their professionalism should be questioned," Petrus said in a written statement on Friday.
Previously, Indonesian Democracy Defenders Team (TPDI) coordinator Petrus Salestinus also said the witnesses in the latest session of the blasphemy trial against Ahok were not fit to take the witness stand.
Ahok, a Christian of Chinese descent, was declared a suspect in the blasphemy case in mid-November amid mounting pressure from Muslim hardliners, who staged a series of mass demonstrations against him.
Judges had rejected Ahok's note of objections in the trial, which calls for the case to be struck down for breach of procedures.