Jakarta governor found guilty in landmark blasphemy trial

Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, commonly known as Ahok, was sentenced to two years in prison on Tuesday, after being found guilty of blasphemy in a landmark trial seen as a test of Indonesia`s religious tolerance.

IANS| Updated: May 09, 2017, 10:12 AM IST

Jakarta: Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, commonly known as Ahok, was sentenced to two years in prison on Tuesday, after being found guilty of blasphemy in a landmark trial seen as a test of Indonesia`s religious tolerance.

In April, prosecutors called for the blasphemy counts to be dropped in exchange for a lesser charge of "spreading hate", but the judges on Tuesday appeared to have ignored that recommendation, reports CNN.

The controversial Christian politician was put on trial in December over accusations that he insulted Islam while campaigning to retain his position. 

However, Ahok has denied the charges.

Ahok quoted a verse from the Quran to prove to his supporters that there were no restrictions on Muslims voting for a non-Muslim politician, CNN reported.

Since an edited video of his remarks was released, hundreds of thousands of Muslim Indonesians protested against him on the streets of Jakarta, with many calling for his imprisonment.

Roads near the Agriculture Ministry where the verdict was due to be delivered was closed from Monday evening in preparation, according to local media reports.

The verdict comes less than a month after Ahok lost his bid for re-election as Jakarta governor.

He was defeated by former Education and Culture Minister Anies Baswedan.