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ICC Note:
One of the eyewitnesses in the blasphemy trial of Jakarta’s governor, known as Ahok, has refused to say that he believes Ahok committed blasphemy. Many of the witnesses that have testified against Ahok are hardline Muslims that were not present for the speech. Among those who were present for the speech, which were mostly fishermen, there has seemed to be less concern for the words he spoke. Ahok’s case is an important litmus test for a country that guarantees religious freedom for Christians. He is the first Christian governor or Jakarta and remained widely popular among voters until hardline Muslims brought a case of blasphemy against him. Many feel the case is an attempt to destroy his chances in the election which is scheduled for next month.
1/22/2017 Indonesia (Jakarta Press) – Yuli Hardi, a subdistrict head from Panggang Island, Thousand Islands, refused to conclude that Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama had committed blasphemy when he testified during the seventh hearing of the governor’s ongoing case on Tuesday.
Yuli, who was summonsed as a prosecution witness for the Tuesday hearing, said he did not have the capacity to make a judgment about Ahok’s speech, in which the latter cited Surah Al Maidah 51, during a working visit to Thousand Islands on Sept. 27.
The North Jakarta District Court’s panel of judges grilled Yuli on the statement, which was also made in his interrogation report, asking him to give his opinion about Ahok’s speech.
“As a mere subordinate, it’s impossible for me to say whether [the speech of] my superior [Ahok] was right or wrong,” Yuli told judges during the hearing held at the Agriculture Ministry’s auditorium in South Jakarta.

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