Politicians, supporters ready to be Ahok's guarantors in bid to free him from detention

Ahok's wife, Veronika Tan, and his eldest son, Nicholas Sean Purnama, are willing to be guarantors for the jailed Jakarta governor so that he can be released pending an appeal. PHOTO: AFP

JAKARTA (JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Politicians and supporters of Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama have expressed their willingness to become guarantors for the jailed Jakarta governor so that he can be released pending an appeal.

Ahok has been detained since Tuesday (May 9) after the North Jakarta District Court declared him guilty of committing blasphemy. Due to security concerns, he was moved to the National Police's Mobile Brigade's (Brimob) detention facility in Kelapa Dua, Depok, on Wednesday, from the Cipinang detention centre in East Jakarta.

Ahok's lawyer Fifi Lety Indra said United Development Party (PPP) chairman Djan Faridz and Jakarta Legislative Council speaker Prasetyo Edi Marsudi, who is also an Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) politician, had filed a detention delay request for Ahok with the Jakarta High Court.

"Ahok's family members, including his wife Veronika Tan and his eldest son Nicholas Sean Purnama, and several of Ahok's lawyers will also become the guarantors for his detention delay," Ms Fifi said on Thursday. It was Jakarta's acting governor Djarot Saiful Hidayat who first took such a step.

On Wednesday, Ahok's supporters started to collect signatures and copies of ID cards at City Hall to meet requirements needed to act as guarantors for his release.

Ms Fifi said the lawyers deplored the North Jakarta District Court's decision to order the detention of Ahok.

"Ahok was always cooperative. He never came late to his hearings or skipped hearings, despite his tight work schedule as a governor," MsFifi said, adding that it was also impossible for Ahok to escape abroad.

The lawyers expect the court will impose a city arrest for Ahok.

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