Jakarta. Former Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama officially challenged his blasphemy conviction through a case review petition to the Supreme Court on Monday (26/02).
About 100 anti-Ahok protestors rallied in front of the North Jakarta District Court during the hearing to demand a rejection of the petition, Jakarta Police spokesman Chief Comr. Argo Yuwono said.
Mulyadi, who leads the judicial panel, said prosecutors are expected to respond to the petition within two or three days, at the latest.
He was quoted as saying by state-run news agency Antara that the judicial panel hopes to hand the case review petition over to the Supreme Court by March 5.
"We do not have the authority to grant a case review petition; we only have the authority to examine the administrative requirements. I hope we will be able to send the petition to the Supreme Court next week," Mulyadi said.
Ahok was found guilty of blasphemy and sentenced to two years' imprisonment in May last year, following several mass rallies by hardline Muslim groups that insisted he had insulted Islam.
Fifi Lety Indra, Ahok's lawyer and sister, told reporters after the hearing that the North Jakarta District Court made a mistake in finding him guilty of blasphemy, BeritaSatu.com reported.
She reportedly said that they would challenge six or seven points, including alleged mistakes by judges in the case.
"We saw a lot of oversight by the judges. This includes the fact that Ahok was immediately imprisoned after the guilty verdict, despite us already having lodged an appeal, although we later dropped it to avoid unrest," Fifi said.
Josevina Agatha Syukur, another lawyer for Ahok, added that the former governor's appeal was partly based on the verdict against Buni Yani, a communications lecturer found guilty of tampering with video footage of a speech by the former governor that was used as evidence to lodge the blasphemy allegations against him.
Buni Yani was sentenced to 18 months in prison in November.