Ahok likely to escape jail as blasphemy charge downgraded
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A day after electoral, prosecutors backpedal and recommend suspended sentence
Jakarta's Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purname, also known as Ahok, arrives for his court hearing in Jakarta April 20. Prosecutors have downgraded blasphemy charges against Ahok. (Photo by Tatan Syuflana/AFP)
Prosecutors have downgraded blasphemy charges against Jakarta's Christian Governor Basuki Tjajaha Puranama, popularly known as Ahok, but will proceed with a lesser charge and recommend that, if found guilty he will serve no prison time.
The backflip came April 20, a day after Ahok was defeated in his bid to be reelected for a full six year term by rival Anies Baswedan, who rode to victory on surging pro-Muslim sentiment exploited by his backers.
Mass protests over the past six months organized by the Islam Defenders Front, a radical group whose membership has swollen to over 6 million, initially led to the blasphemy charges being investigated.
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