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Ahok's sentence politically driven: Lawyer

Jakarta Post - May 9, 2017

Callistasia Anggun Wijaya, Jakarta – The defense lawyer of Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama has said the North Jakarta District Court's decision to sentence Ahok to two years in prison for blasphemy is politically driven and unacceptable.

"We respect the decision but we can't accept it. We understand the pressure surrounding this case, but we're disappointed. We will file an appeal to challenge the decision," Ahok's lawyer, I Wayan Sidarta, said.

The judges sentenced Ahok to two years in prison for blasphemy as stipulated in Article 156a of the Criminal Code (KUHP) despite the prosecutors dropping the blasphemy charge.

Prosecutors claimed on April 20 that Ahok had only insulted Muslim leaders, a move they said violated of Article 156 of the KUHP, and demanded the judges sentence him to two years of probation.

Wayan added that the lawyers questioned the judges' decision to detain Ahok because during the hearing they said Ahok had been cooperative. Ahok was escorted to Cipinang Detention Center in East Jakarta after the judges handed down their ruling.

"Why should Ahok be detained? Ahok will still be governor, so he won't escape," Wayan said, adding the case was politically driven.

Ahok, who lost his bid for reelection last month, has another six months to lead the city before passing the baton to governor-elect Anies Baswedan in October. Home Minister Tjahjo Kumolo is set to install Jakarta Deputy Governor Djarot Saiful Hidayat as acting governor.

Source: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/05/09/ahoks-sentence-politically-driven-lawyer.html