FPI head urges judges to detain Ahok
Callistasia Anggun Wijaya
The Jakarta Post
In the 12th hearing of Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama’s blasphemy trial on Tuesday, Islam Defenders Front (FPI) founder Rizieq Shihab urged the panel of judges to detain the defendant.
Rizieq, who was presented as a witness in the case, warned that the governor could repeat his blasphemous speech or flee legal proceedings if the judges failed to detain him.
“I suggest the judges detain the suspect so he won’t repeat his conduct and insult clerics. [I] am also concerned that he might escape,” Rizieq told the judges.
In his role as a witness, Rizieq presented notes he had written explaining several Quranic verses suggesting Muslims not elect non-Muslims as leaders and two CDs purported to contain evidence of Ahok commenting on the Surah Al Maidah verse several times.
“The first CD shows an interview of the suspect with Al-Jazeera TV, in which he said he did not feel guilty about making the [blasphemous] speech and that he would do it again, just like in Thousand Islands. The second is a recording of the suspect joking about Surah Al Maidah 51 at an administration meeting,” Rizieq told the judges.
Dwiarso Budi Santiarto, the presiding judge, rejected the items as evidence.
“The recordings can be accessed on YouTube and are therefore general information,” the judge said.
During the hearing, Rizieq also testified that he played no part in the issuance of an Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) fatwa in October claiming that Ahok had committed blasphemy by commenting on Surah Al Maidah 51 during a working visit to Thousand Islands regency on Sept. 27 last year.
That fatwa was used by the prosecutors to indict Ahok.
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