Wife of Jakarta's ex-governor Ahok says to let judges decide on couple's future

Then Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama and his wife Veronica after casting their votes in Jakarta, on Feb 15, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

JAKARTA - The wife of former Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, Veronica Tan, on Wednesday (Feb 7) submitted an affidavit to a court declaring that she does not wish to appoint a lawyer, and nor does she wish to attend any of the hearing.

In the second session of the divorce trial of Basuki, Madam Tan said she wishes to leave everything to the judges to make a ruling that is best for the couple, according to the affidavit submitted to the judges along with her original ID card, that was verified and accepted by the court officials.

The first hearing last week and on Wednesday (Feb 7) could have been used by the judges to hold mediation, to make the last attempts to persuade both parties to stay together, as is required by the Indonesian marriage law, said a court administrative official.

Mr Basuki, better known by his Chinese nickname Ahok, filed for divorce on Jan 8, and the first hearing for the divorce trial was held on Jan 31.

In the next hearing on Feb 14, judges would hear the elaboration on the reasons why Ahok filed for divorce.

Ahok and Madam Tan have been married since 1997. They have three children - Nicholas Sean, 19; Nathania, 16; and Daud Albeenner, 11.

"The intended divorce is because the two have not got along well and it has been so for seven years," sister Ms Fifi Lety Indra, who is also Basuki's lawyer in the divorce case, told reporters.

News of the divorce has come as a shock to many, since the couple continued to display what appeared to be a warm relationship after Basuki was jailed.

Last Dec 4, a photo of Madam Tan was posted on his official Instagram account, along with a short message to wish her a happy birthday.

"As his sister, I also only found out about their marriage problem in November. Perhaps because my brother always tried to think positive about his marriage. He is a perfect gentleman," Ms Fifi said.

She told the court that a third person has caused the couple's marriage to deteriorate.

In May last year, Basuki was sentenced to two years' jail for blasphemy. The sentence was handed down weeks after he lost the Jakarta gubernatorial election.

He was deputy governor of Jakarta before he took over as governor in 2014, after his former running-mate Joko Widodo was elected president of Indonesia.

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