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Ahok's lawyers decline to question witnesses in Tuesday's hearing

Jakarta Post - February 28, 2017

Callistasia Anggun Wijaya, Jakarta Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama's team of lawyers declined to question witnesses for the prosecution on Tuesday, saying they lacked credibility and objectivity.

Earlier in the morning, the lawyers passed on questioning Islam Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab, saying he was a former convict and had been involved anti-Ahok protests.

The lawyers also declined to question the second witness, Abdul Chair Ramadhan, a criminal expert with the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), who previously wrote an open letter of protest against Ahok.

"This expert has a conflict of interest. He has written an open letter that shows his hatred of the suspect," one of Ahok's lawyers said.

The lawyer then read out the letter, which urged Ahok's Muslim lawyers to repent by no longer defending their client. He added that Abdul had urged the Muslim lawyers leave the case to non-Muslim lawyers.

When presiding judge Dwiarso Budi Santiarto asked Abdul whether he had written the letter, the latter confirmed that he had, explaining that it was his personal opinion.

"It was my point of view, which doesn't impact my statement as an expert. It was my right to convey the truth in accordance with my faith," he said.

Dwiarso then adjourned the trial until March 7, when Ahok's lawyers will present several defense witnesses.

Source: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/02/28/ahoks-lawyers-decline-to-question-witnesses-in-tuesdays-hearing.html.

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