Judges want to speed up Ahok’s trial
Callistasia Anggun Wijaya
The Jakarta Post
The North Jakarta District Court said on Tuesday that it expected to speed up Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama's blasphemy trial in hopes of handing down a ruling no later than May.
“Based on a Supreme Court circular, the trial should last no more than five months. We hope to make a decision before Ramadhan,” presiding judge Dwiarso Budi Santiarto said, referring to the Muslim fasting month, which will fall in late May.
Ahok's blasphemy trial started on Dec. 13. Tuesday marked the 15th hearing of the trial, during which the court was scheduled to listen testimony from experts presented by the governor.
Dwiarso said the trial, which is being held in the auditorium of the Agriculture Ministry in Ragunan, South Jakarta, had disrupted not only the activities of ministry employees who worked at the building but also road users who faced severe traffic jams while a hearing was conducted.
Considering those reasons, the judges requested that the lawyers only summons experts whose testimony would be significant to defend Ahok.
One of Ahok’s lawyers told the judges that they would summons three experts who had been questioned during police investigation and 15 additional experts.
Therefore, four hearings were needed to present the experts, the lawyer said.
“We don’t want to eliminate your right [to defend Ahok]. I believe you [lawyers] and the prosecutors understand that the judges would not consider the number of experts, but the quality and content of their testimonies,” Dwiarso said, responding to the lawyer. (ebf)
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