04/05/2017, 15.21
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Ahok on trial, video that indicted Christian governor 'unacceptable'

It will not be screened in any of the upcoming hearings. The edited movie is now part of a criminal case against its speaker. Ahok offers an apology for the case of blasphemy orchestrated against him. Ceaseless attacks of the extremist Muslim organizations. The security forces arrest five Islamist leaders for treason.


Jakarta (AsiaNews) - The judges of the Jakarta court have resolved that the video, which gave rise to the controversial blasphemy case against the Christian governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, does not constitute admissible evidence in the current proceeding.

Yesterday, during the 17th hearing of the trial, the judges ruled that the video, posted on Facebook on October 6, 2016 by a man named Buni Yani, will not be shown in any of the upcoming hearings.

The alleged blasphemous speech of the Governor, in which he quoted the Qur'anic verse Surah Al Maidah 51, sparked protests and mass demonstrations in the country. Thousands of Muslim extremists gathered to demand the prosecution and death sentence of Ahok on November 4 and December 12 last year, and again March 31, 2017.

Ahok’s attorney Humphrey Djemat, said that watching the Buni videos the court could see that the case was initiated by a video edited with the sole intent of triggering controversy. The law refers to the way in which Buni had framed the content of the video, with an accompanying text that was similar to comments Ahok, but was missing the word "Pakai" or "use." In the original video, Ahok declared: "Ladies and gentlemen [...] you have been deceived by the use of Al Maidah 51 [of the Koran]." However, in the texts that accompany the videos Buni, it is written: "Ladies and gentlemen [Muslim voters] were deceived by Al Maidah 51".

During the hearing yesterday, the governor of Jakarta has offered his apologies for the case of blasphemy orchestrated against him, for the public outcry that it has caused and for the money it cost to Indonesian citizens. "Because some people have orchestrated this case, it caused an uproar. People are afraid, the investors will run away and seek 'refuge' in Singapore.  I apologize for all this fuss "- the words of Ahok.

President Dwiarso Budi Santiarto postponed the trial to April 11, when the court will hear the condemnation of prosecutors. Ahok is accused under Article 156 of the Criminal Code on blasphemy, which carries a maximum sentence of five years.

In the meantime, extremist Muslim organizations continue to attack the Christian politician. The Islamist leaders are organizing marches and rallies that the Indonesian authorities have repeatedly called threats against the stability and the spirit of unity of the country.

On the night of 30 March, on the eve of the last political demonstration against Ahok, Indonesian security forces had conducted an operation that led to the arrest of five people suspected of treason. Among those was Muhammad Al-Khaththath arrested, leader of the Muslim extremist organization People's Forum. On April 3, police in Jakarta made the details of the operation and the results of initial investigations public.

Al-Khaththath, who was the coordinator of the rally, was arrested at the Kempinski hotel in Jakarta, hours before the protest. The other four suspects matching the names Diko Nugraha, Andre, Irwansyah and Zainuddin Arsyad, are all members of various Muslim fundamentalist organizations.

The police spokesman commander Argo Yuwono, reported that the suspects had held secret talks plotting to overthrow the government. "There are detailed plans to occupy the House of Representatives, including logistics and routes. They also planned to crash a truck against the back door of the parliament [in order to enter the complex] "- said Argo.

During the searches, police seized several smartphones and laptops, a banner with the inscription "A Muslim governor of Jakarta", several posters and two books that are supposed to be the spending records of the suspects in the foiled coup attempt.

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