JAKARTA, Indonesia â€” Prosecutors on Thursday recommended two years of probation for the minority Christian governor of the Indonesian capital during his trial for blaspheming the Qurâ€™an.
The relatively light sentencing demand was made a day after Gov. 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 Qurâ€™an 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 defence next week and a verdict from the five-judge panel is expected in early May.
The Associated Press