The Jakarta Post
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo stressed on Tuesday that he would not protect non-active Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, who has been accused of insulting the Quran in a speech during a visit to Thousand Islands regency in late September.
“I emphasize here, I will not protect Basuki Tjahaja Purnama because [his case] is being legally processed,” said Jokowi after meeting with executives of Muhammadiyah, the second-largest Islamic organization in Indonesia, as reported by kompas.com.
Jokowi was responding to public speculation that his closeness to Ahok, his deputy when he was the Jakarta governor, could prompt him to intervene in the case.
Jokowi held a closed-door meeting at Muhammadiyah’s headquarters in Jakarta on Tuesday. It occurred after he was criticized for refusing to meet with representatives of protesters in a Nov. 4 rally that was participated in by more than 100,000 people.
During a press conference, accompanied by Muhammadiyah chairman Haedar Nashir and secretary-general Abdul Mu'ti, Jokowi expressed gratitude to the organization for helping to calm down the protesters, particularly up to 6 p.m. in front of the State Palace.
Previously, the President told religious leaders that he would not intervene in Ahok’s case, but this was the first time that he had announced it publicly.
The President has ordered the police to conduct a transparent case screening, which is a first in a police investigation. The police have questioned 22 witnesses in regards to the case. (bbn)
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