World

Ahok detractor also under blasphemy probe

JAKARTA: Police in Indonesia's capital will soon question witnesses as part of the blasphemy case implicating the leader of hard-line Muslim group, the Islam Defenders Front (FPI).

The move came after a court ruled on Tuesday that it will proceed with a blasphemy trial against Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, better known by the nickname Ahok.

FPI cleric Rizieq Shihab had been reported by two student associations for remarks he made in a sermon allegedly mocking the birth of Christ.

A video of the incident has been uploaded on the Internet.

"We will question a number of witnesses such as information technology experts, crime experts, religious experts and others," said Jakarta police spokesman Senior Commander Raden Argo Yuwono, according to tribunnews.com yesterday.

Mr Rizieq was reported by the Indonesian Catholic Students Association and Students Peace Institute to the police after a video of the sermon was uploaded onto Twitter and Instagram.

In the 22-second-long video, he is heard saying: "If God gave birth, then who would be the midwife?"

Mr Rizieq is also accused of violating the criminal code on blasphemy. The charge carries a maximum punishment of five years in prison.

Asked if the case review of Mr Rizieq's case would be carried out openly as in Mr Purnama's case review, Mr Argo said it would be up to the investigators.

"Just wait for the investigation into the case," he said, telling those who reported Mr Rizieq to the police to be patient while they carry out the investigation. - THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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