Shia leader sentence increased
Shia leader Tajul Muluk’s prison sentence has been increased to four years from the previous two-year sentence on Friday. Prosecutors at Sampang District Court, East Java had originally demanded a five-year imprisonment for Tajul in July.
Tajul is the local Shia cleric whose followers were attacked by a Sunni mob in late August that killed two people. The mob ransacked more than 30 houses leaving 200 people displaced.
However, instead of the perpetrators standing trial Tajul was convicted on blasphemy charges, on July 12. He filed an appeal to the court soon after the verdict.
Tajul’s defender Abdullah Djoepriyono also questioned the verdict, saying that the judgment was unfounded. He said blasphemy charges would need a ministerial decree declaring his Shia teaching to be deviant. (iwa)