Date: March 28, 2018
Indonesia’s Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by the Christian former governor of Jakarta to review his conviction for insulting Islam, reports Reuters.
The ruling means Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, better known as “Ahok”, will serve out his two-year prison sentence for suggesting a passage from the Quran had been misinterpreted during his 2017 re-election campaign. World Watch Monitor reported in February that a Supreme Court appeal could be his last chance to overturn the conviction because the number of reviews allowed is limited.
“All the reasons for the appeal put forward by Ahok’s team were rejected by the judge,” a court spokesman told Reuters . He did not explain the court’s reasoning further.
Ahok’s lawyers argued that his conviction was flawed because a video used in evidence against him was “doctored and incorrectly subtitled”. The person who doctored the video was imprisoned last year for violating information technology laws .
In a further twist to Ahok’s case, it was reported earlier this month that he may have been a victim of a sophisticated anti-government campaign of “fake news” and malicious bots. Indonesian authorities have recently made arrests linked to an online jihadist network known as the Muslim Cyber Army. The network “was created for the sole purpose of tweeting inflammatory content and messages designed to amplify social and religious division, and push a hard-line Islamist and anti-government line”, reported the UK’s Guardian newspaper.