‘If anything happens, I’ll go to prison’: Djarot asks to become guarantor for Ahok’s conditional release from jail

Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama (L) with Djarot Saiful Hidayat. Photo: Instagram

Despite being temporarily promoted to acting governor of Jakarta after Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama imprisonment yesterday, the former vice governor, Djarot Saiful Hidayat, is still among the many Indonesians who feel that the harsh two-year sentence given to Ahok after he was found guilty at the conclusion of blasphemy case was a grave injustice. In fact, Djarot didn’t even smile once when he was appointed as acting governor yesterday afternoon.

It seems Djarot would still prefer to work alongside Ahok as his vice governor, as evidenced by his bold intention to act as the guarantor for the latter’s release from prison.

“If anything happens [after Ahok is released from jail], I will be the guarantor. It’s a complete guarantee. If anything happens, I’ll go to prison,” Djarot said, as quoted by Kompas yesterday.

Djarot said that he has filed a letter to the North Jakarta District Court, which handed Ahok’s punishment, requesting Ahok’s freedom.

However, should his request be granted, Djarot admitted that he doesn’t know if Ahok can still be reinstated as governor for the remainder of their term together.

“That is up to the Ministry of Home Affairs,” he said.

Ahok and Djarot’s term officially ends in October 2017, after which they will be replaced by the victors of the recently concluded Jakarta gubernatorial election, Governor-elect Anies Baswedan and Vice Governor-elect Sandiaga Uno.

Suspension of detention is possible for criminal suspects or defendants under Article 31 of the Criminal Law Procedures Code (KUHAP), under the condition that those given their freedom must pay bail or have a guarantor who guarantees that they won’t tamper with evidence or escape. In the case of Ahok, who was already convicted, it’s likely that he could receive suspension of detention while his appeal to the High Court is heard.

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