President urges all parties to respect verdict on Ahok

"I ask all parties to respect the existing legal process and the verdict read out by the panel of judges, including respecting the steps that will be taken by Purnama for an appeal," the president stated.
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo has asked all parties to respect the decision of the two-year jail verdict for Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama or Ahok for religious defamation case as read out by the North Jakarta District Court on Tuesday.

"I ask all parties to respect the existing legal process and the verdict read out by the panel of judges, including respecting the steps that will be taken by Purnama for an appeal," the president stated in a statement released by the setkab.go.id.

According to him, the most important point is for all parties to believe the existing mechanism of law in order to settle any legal problem in Indonesia.

That is how a democratic country solves the existing long differences, the head of state emphasized, adding that the government cannot intervene with the ongoing legal process.

With regard to dismissing Purnama from his gubernatorial post, Jokowi noted that he has received information from the Home Affairs Minister.

The president explained that he will ask the detailed information regarding (dismissal for Ahok) after arrival in Jakarta, following his working visits to several regions.

On Tuesday (May 9), Jokowi visited and inaugurated the Skouw integrated cross-border post in Muara Tami village, Jayapura city, Papua province.

Regarding the religious defamation case committed by Ahok, a panel of judges of the North Jakarta District Court found the Jakarta Governor (Basuki Tjahaja Purnama) guilty of blasphemy against Islam and sentenced him to two years in jail.

In response to the verdict of the panel of judges, headed by Dwiarso Budi Santiarto, Ahok and his team of lawyers said they will prepare an appeal against the court's decision.

The court's decision differs from the prosecutors' demand for a one-year prison sentence and a two-year probation for Ahok over blasphemy charges.

Ahok's blasphemy trial began on Dec 13, 2016. The 50-year-old 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, in Sept 2016.

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. (*)

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