Asia Briefs: Man who posted Ahok video rejects indictment

Man who posted Ahok video rejects indictment

BANDUNG • The man who uploaded a video which showed Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama making blasphemous comments has rejected his indictment for spreading hate speech.

Buni Yani said at the trial opening yesterday he would challenge the charge that he had knowingly spread an edited video of Ahok's speech, which contained a section many felt was insulting to the Quran.

The governor was convicted of blasphemy last month and sentenced to two years' jail.


Vivian meets Philippine counterpart in Manila

Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan met his Philippine counterpart, Mr Alan Peter Cayetano during his introductory visit to Manila, the Minister of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said.

The ministers reaffirmed warm and longstanding bilateral ties, and agreed to expand cooperation in air connectivity, telecommunications, human resource development, urban solutions, and trade and investment, MFA said in a statement yesterday.

Dr Balakrishnan also expressed his condolences to those affected by the militant siege in the southern Philippine city of Marawi, and voiced support for the fight against terrorism and violent extremism, MFA said.

Crown Resorts' arrested China staff charged

SYDNEY/BEIJING • Australia's Crown Resorts said the Chinese authorities charged more than a dozen of its employees with promoting gambling, ending an eight-month limbo since the staff were arrested and inching closer to resolving its biggest crisis.

The fate of the 18 marketing staff held in China since October remained unclear until yesterday, when Crown said in a short statement that all its staff caught up in the mass arrest had now been charged with "offences related to the promotion of gambling".

It added that the Chinese authorities had referred the cases to the Baoshan District Court.

That court declined to comment when approached by Reuters.


Malaysia seizes 300kg of pangolin scales

KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysian customs officers have seized 288kg of the scales of the endangered pangolin being smuggled through Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

The haul was found last Friday in 12 boxes labelled as oyster shells on the waybill and which arrived from Ghana on a Turkish Airlines flight, the Customs Department said in a statement yesterday.

The scales are worth around RM3.69 million (S$1.2 million ). The authorities are investigating.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 14, 2017, with the headline 'Asia Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe