Banten governor to request trials be held in Jakarta

Banten Governor Ratu Atut Chosiyah is adamant about requesting that the Supreme Court move the location for the trials of suspects in a religious violence case in Cikeusik, Banten, to Jakarta to avoid instability in her region.

“We have taken every matter into consideration and listened to suggestions from all parties. And we have decided to carry on with the request,” a spokesman for Banten provincial government, Anwar Mas'ud, said on Thursday as quoted by tempointeraktif.com.

Anwar said the request was in line with the 2004 law on regional administrations.

“The governor will not withdraw or annul her decision,” he added.

A number of Islamic leaders in Banten previously lambasted Ratu's move to file the request with the Supreme Court.

“If the governor sees the trials of the Ahmadiyah attackers as a threat to security, it means she considers the suspects in the Cikeusik riot big-league suspects just like other terrorists and bombers,” said Syamsuri, a cleric and leader of an Islamic school in Banten.

The Cikeusik incident happened in early February when some 1,500 people attacked several Ahmadis in a village in the regency. Three Ahmadis died in the onslaught.

Anwar said his administration was concerned about possible clashes “fueled by provocation from people outside of Banten” should the trials take place in the province.

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