Prosecutors to Respond to Ahok's Objections Next Week as Blasphemy Trial Continues


DECEMBER 13, 2016

Jakarta. The next session of Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama's blasphemy trial is scheduled for Dec. 20, with prosecutors set to respond to his note of objections, a presiding judge said.

Prosecutors, who accused Ahok of blasphemy in a seven-page indictment read out during a heavily guarded hearing in Jakarta on Tuesday (13/12), requested one week to draft a response.


"We postpone today's hearing until Tuesday next week at 9 a.m. with the agenda of the delivery of a response to the note of objections from the defendant and his legal advisers," presiding judge Dwiyarso Budi Santiarto said, as quoted by state-run news agency Antara.

Ahok, who was accompanied by 20 of his lawyers at Tuesday's hearing, emotionally stated that he had no intention to insult Islam when referring to a Koranic verse during a public speech in September.

Police declared the governor, who is a Christian of Chinese descent, a suspect in mid-November in a blasphemy investigation launched amid mounting pressure from Muslim hardliners, who staged a wave of mass demonstrations against him over the past two months.

Tuesday's hearing also drew further Muslim protests, but police said the day's proceedings continued without any disruption, with thousands of officers safeguarding the venue.