The Jakarta Post
The legal defense team of Basuki "Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama on Tuesday accused Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) chairman Ma'ruf Amin of bias for issuing a recommendation alleging that the Jakarta governor had committed blasphemy.
According to the team, Ma’ruf had been influenced by former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono over the issuance the recommendation, in which the council categorized one of Ahok’s speeches that cited a Quranic verse as “blasphemous”.
During the eighth hearing of Ahok’s blasphemy trial on Tuesday, legal team member Humphrey Djemat claimed Ma’ruf, who testified as a witness, received a phone call from Yudhoyono on Oct. 6.
That was one day before a meeting between executives of Indonesia’s largest Muslim organization, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), and Jakarta gubernatorial candidate pair Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono and Sylviana Murni took place at the NU headquarters on Jl. Kramat Raya, Central Jakarta. Ma’ruf was present at the meeting.
In the hearing, Humphrey frequently asked Ma'ruf whether the he was “demanded by Yudhoyono" to "issue an edict" in response to a speech Ahok made during a working visit to the Thousand Islands regency on Sept. 27, 2016. The lawyer also asked the MUI chairman whether Yudhoyono had asked the NU to “accept Agus and Sylviana at its headquarters".
Maruf denied all of the accusations during the hearing. He remained tight-lipped when journalists attempted to interview him about the matter after the hearing ended at about 3 p.m. (ebf)