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Probation call for poll loser

World | Apr 21, 2017
Prosecutors recommended two years of probation for the minority Christian governor of the Indonesian capital Jakarta during his trial for blaspheming the Koran.

The relatively light sentencing demand was made a day after governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama was swept out of office by a landslide election victory for a Muslim rival backed by conservative clerics.

The maximum penalty for blasphemy in Muslim-majority Indonesia is five years in prison. Prosecutors recommended one year prison if Ahok violates his probation.

Ahok was accused of blasphemy last year when a video surfaced of him telling voters they were being deceived if they believed a specific verse in the Koran prohibited Muslims from electing a non-Muslim as leader.

Hard-line Islamic groups attracted hundreds of thousands to anti-Ahok protests in Jakarta, shaking the government of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and undermining Indonesia's reputation for practicing a moderate form of Islam.

Ahok's lawyers will present his final defense next week and a verdict from the five-judge panel is expected in early May.

ASSOCIATED PRESS



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