Jakarta: More than nine months after being convicted of blasphemy, former Jakarta governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama (pic) has officially challenged his conviction through a case review petition to the Supreme Court.
The preliminary hearing of the petition, which lasted only 10 minutes, was held at the North Jakarta District Court on Monday.
The Supreme Court justices will later decide whether or not to grant Ahok’s case review petition.
The hearing at the North Jakarta District Court was presided over by Judge Mulyadi, who had previously presided over his trial at the district level.
Speaking to reporters after the hearing, Ahok’s lawyer and sister, Fifi Letya Indra, said she believed the North Jakarta District Court had made a mistake in declaring Ahok guilty of blasphemy.
She said the guilty verdict against Buni Yani, a communications lecturer found guilty of tampering with video footage of a speech given by Ahok that was used as evidence to lodge the blasphemy allegations against the former Jakarta governor, was the basis for the case review request.
“The legal argument for our petition is that the judges (at the district level) made a mistake in their verdict (on Ahok), particularly in relation to Buni Yani’s verdict,” she said.
“We have six to seven points to make.”
Ahok was found guilty of blasphemy and sentenced to two years in prison on May 9 following a series of rallies by conservative groups who believe he had committed blasphemy against the Quran.
He was charged with blasphemy under Article 156a of the Criminal Code, which carries a maximum punishment of five years’ imprisonment. — The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network