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Lawyer questions Rizieq's credibility, rejects him as expert

Jakarta Post - February 28, 2017

Callistasia Anggun Wijaya, Jakarta A lawyer for Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama has said Islam Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab is unsuitable to provide expert testimony on religious matters at a hearing of Ahok's blasphemy trial on Tuesday, due to his track record and credibility.

The lawyer, Humprey Djemat, noted that Rizieq had a criminal record. "Habib Rizieq has twice been found guilty of committing crimes. He is an ex-convict," Humprey told the judges.

Back in 2003, Rizieq was imprisoned for seven months for spreading provocation that led to a disturbance of public order. Rizieq was again imprisoned, this time for one year and six months, in 2008 for provoking members of his organization to cause a public disturbance.

Rizieq, Humprey said, was currently a suspect in the case related to the insult of the state ideology, Pancasila. He has also been accused of having engaged in an affair with activist Firza Husein, who is a treason suspect.

He added that Rizieq was also a member of the supervisory board of the National Movement to Safeguard the Indonesian Ulema Council's Fatwa (GNPF-MUI), which initiated large protests against Ahok on Oct. 14, Nov. 4 and Dec. 2 last year.

The prosecutor Ali Mukartono refused to uphold the lawyer's objection, saying that this hearing was not about Rizieq. "Every citizen has the right to be summoned as an expert, even if they were once a defendant. We hope that judges reject the lawyers' objection," he said.

The judge panel led by Dwiarso Budi Santiarto rejected the lawyer's objection and decided to proceed with the hearing. (dmr)

Source: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2017/02/28/lawyer-questions-rizieqs-credibility-rejects-him-as-expert.html.

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