"The MUI lauds and respects the verdict given by the courts panel of judges," the councils deputy chief Zainut Tauhid informed journalists here in response to the courts decision that sentenced Ahok to two years in jail.
Tauhid said the legal aspects that the panel of judges took into account while arriving at a decision were in line with their prerogative rights, which could not be intervened, as they had the freedom to decide a verdict.
The courts decision had also confirmed that the MUIs religious opinion and stance on the 50-year-old Jakarta governor committing blasphemy against the Islamic Holy Book of Al Quran was valid and was used as a reference, he noted.
The MUI thanked those who had loyally safeguarded the court proceedings from the start to the end by respecting the law and order and unity in diversity of the nation, including ulemas and leaders of Muslim-based organizations.
The North Jakarta District Courts panel of judges found Ahok guilty of insulting Islam and sentenced him to two years in jail.
In response to the verdict handed out by the panel of judges, headed by Dwiarso Budi Santiarto, Ahok and his team of lawyers said they will prepare an appeal against the courts decision.
The courts decision differs from the prosecutors demand that the court sentence Ahok to one year in prison and place him on probation for two years over blasphemy charges.
Ahoks blasphemy trial began on December 13, 2016. The Jakarta governor had been accused of blasphemy against the Islamic Holy Book of Al Quran when he gave a speech in the Seribu Islands, northern Jakarta, last September.
During his speech, Ahok said the voters had been lied to by those citing sura Al Maida verse 51 of the Al Quran.
Blasphemy is a criminal offense in Indonesia and is punishable with up to five years in prison.(*)