The legal team of Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama criticized the background of Gus Joy Setiawan, a witness presented by prosecutors in Tuesday’s session of the governor’s blasphemy trial on Tuesday, saying he was a supporter of Jakarta gubernatorial candidate Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono.
This might affect his objectivity in giving testimony as a witness in the case, the defense team said.
The legal team led by Trimoelja D. Soerjadi revealed in a statement on Tuesday that Gus Joy had declared his support for Agus and his running mate, Sylviana Murni. This could be seen in a video entitled “Gus Joy’s Speech to Support Mas Agus and Mpok Sylviana” that was uploaded on YouTube on Sept.30, the defense said.
“In the video, he said: ‘Let’s end the leadership of Ahok, who is arrogant, doesn’t hesitate to evict poor people, tends to defend rich people and loves to talk harshly,” one lawyer said.
“The witness has declared his support for one of the gubernatorial candidates on Sept. 30 before he reported Basuki Tjahaja Purnama to the police on Oct. 7. This thing showed his special agenda against Ahok,” the team said.
In the session, which ran until Tuesday evening, prosecutors presented four witnesses who had filed a report with the police against Ahok, alleging he committed blasphemy. They are the secretary-general of the Jakarta chapter of the Islam Defenders Front (FPI), Novel Bamukmin, Sharia Advocate chairman Gus Joy Setiawan, FPI Jakarta head Muchsin and Antiblasphemy Forum head Syamsu Hilal.
They all reported Ahok to the police after watching a video of one of the governor’s speech, in which he cited a Quranic verse, during a visit to the Thousand Islands.