Court’s swift decision to reject Ahok’s case review petition questioned
The Jakarta Post
Several aspects of the Supreme Court’s rejection of the case review petition filed by former Jakarta governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama against his blasphemy conviction, including its swift process, have been deplored.
The Supreme Court handed down its ruling on March 26, only 19 days after receiving the case dossier from the North Jakarta District Court, which is considered short compared to other cases.
Ahok’s lawyer, Fifi Lety Indra, said for other cases, like the murder case that convicted the former chairman of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), Antasari Azhar, it took 122 days for the court to reject the latter’s case review petition.
Citing the Supreme Court’s statement that Ahok’s case was swiftly decided because it had attracted public attention and was "important", Fifi said the court should have considered all cases equal.
“This case was quickly decided because it was deemed important. How could that be important? The court shall see that all cases and individuals are equal. This is a matter of principle,” Fifi said on Thursday according to kompas.com.
Fifi, who is also Ahok’s sister, said she did not understand why the court failed to consider evidence presented by the lawyers, for example evidence that related to Buni Yani, who was found guilty of tampering with video used to support the blasphemy case against Ahok.
The panel of judges in Ahok case was led by justice Artidjo Alkostar, who is famous for his harsh punishment toward corruption defendants.
Following the court's decision, reports emerged that Artidjo was a member of the Islam Defenders Front (FPI) committee. He later denied the reports.
The FPI was behind a series of rallies in which participants demanded the arrest and conviction of Ahok for his remarks, which were deemed to be blasphemous toward Islam. (cal)
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