The Jakarta Post
Former Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama will not testify as a witness in a court hearing against defendant Buni Yani who is standing trial for allegedly spreading hate speech at the Bandung District Court on Tuesday.
The prosecutors at the Bandung District Court previously planned to present Ahok as a witness in the case against Buni, the man who edited the subtitles of a video that showed Ahok making comments about Islam.
However, the head of Cipinang prison considered the request to be not feasible because of the distance between the court and the Mobile Brigade Command (Mako Brimob) in Depok, West Java where Ahok is imprisoned, Ahok’s attorney Rolas Sitinjak said.
"In light of the the traffic jams from Jakarta to Bandung, it could take Ahok hours to reach the court. He won't be able to come to the hearing on time," Rolas said on Tuesday adding that the Cipinang Penitentiary head had sent a letter to the prosecutors explaining the situation.
He went on to say that Ahok could not attend the hearing given his current physical condition.
"Ahok feels unwell at the moment, maybe because of influenza," he said
Another of Ahok's lawyer, Teguh Samudera, said even though Ahok could not attend the hearing, the prosecutors could read out Ahok's testimony stated in the police's investigation report (BAP).
Prosecutors indicted Buni for allegedly spreading an edited video of a speech Ahok gave last year in which he warned residents of parties who used Quranic verses for political gains. The video triggered an uproar, which resulted in Ahok being declared guilty of blasphemy against Islam on May 9.