JAKARTA - Former Indonesian private university lecturer Buni Yani has been sentenced to one-and-a-half years in jail, after being found guilty of spreading hate speech by a Bandung court on Tuesday (Nov 14).
The case is closely watched as the act by Mr Buni contributed to the May jailing of former Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama for blasphemy against Islam.
The judges said Buni breached the clauses of the country's information and electronic transaction laws, which not only stipulate about information technology, but also how information could be spread and used, to ensure the protection of citizens' rights.
"It has been proven. The defendant is guilty as charged," presiding judge M. Saptono told the court room.
The verdict passed is lower than the two years' sentence previously demanded by the prosecutors. Buni's lawyer Aldwin Rahadian said Buni will appeal the verdict.
Buni was accused of editing, and later uploading online, a video of featuring a speech by Basuki in September last year where he referred to a verse from Islam's holy book, the Quran.
Prosecutors said that Buni not only uploaded the video, but also in bad faith incorrectly transcribed the former governor's speech regarding a Quranic verse which led to a public outcry.
A vital part of the statement by Basuki, who is widely know as Ahok, was edited out of the video, creating the perception that his remarks were aimed at the Islamic holy book, rather than opponents who misquoted Quranic verses to support their political agenda.
While on a work trip, Basuki told constituents that they should not be misled by his political opponents who urged Muslims to reject a non-Muslim leader. Basuki is a Christian.