The Jakarta Post
Seasoned lawyer and chairman of Setara Institute Hendardi said in an official statement on Tuesday that the decision of the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) to expedite the trial of Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, despite the thickness of his 826-page case dossier, indicated that this was a “trial by the mob”.
“How could they peruse 826 pages in a very short time?” Hendardi questioned. “The reason is to fulfill ‘the public demand’ behind expediting the trial. And this confirms that “trial by the mob” has been effective in undermining prosecutors’ independence in determining whether criminal behavior occurred in this case,” he went on.
He said public pressure becoming the influential variable in law enforcement harmed the nation’s justice system. “Being fast and responsive doesn’t mean neglecting the need for a fair process,” he said.
Hendardi said that this showed President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s desire for the state to ensure fair law enforcement would be difficult to achieve. “It would be reasonable for Jokowi to replace the Attorney General with someone who is more credible and has more integrity,” he said.
Ahok’s blasphemy trial is scheduled to begin on Dec. 13.
Attorney General Agung Prasetyo has said that considering the public “request, wish and recommendation” to expedite the case, his office had submitted the dossier to the court as soon as possible.
He said the prosecution of the case would be in accordance with the law and he called the public not to harbor prejudice against the AGO. (evi)
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