TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) Chairman Maruf Amin said that President Joko Widodo agreed to grant clemency for Abu Bakar Baasyir, but Baasyir refused the pardon. "Because if he asks for clemency, (it means) he admits the mistakes," said Maruf, Tuesday, March 6.
Maruf's statement was confirmed by Guntur Fattahillah, Baasyir's lawyer. "Until this night Ustad (Baasyir) does not want to," he said. "Usually, if he said so he won’t change (his decision). He has strong principle."
Guntur asserted Baasyir refused the clemency from the government because he considered himself innocent. Ba'asyir claimed to had never involved in any form of terrorist activity as the court decided.
Guntur said that the 80-year-old man often gets sick. He wanted to be closer to his relatives and get treatment from his family. Therefore Guntur hoped the government wisely change Baasyir status into a house arrest. "The President and the criminal law experts as well as the constitutional law certainly understand better and know the best way to ease Ustad Baasyir's sentence," he said.
Head of Public Relations Directorate General of Correctional Ministry of Justice and Human Rights Ade Kusmanto said that based on the regulations, Ba'asyir cannot become a house arrest. A house arrest can only be given to someone who has not been convicted by the court. "Ba'asyir is no longer a defendant as he has been sentenced 15 years in jail," he explained.
However, Ade stated there is still a chance for Baasyir to be out of the penitentiary. "If he wouldn’t like to file clemency, he can ask for a parole," he said. Thus to get a parole, Baasyir must first undergo two-thirds of the sentence term. He was sentenced to 15 years, then a parole can be granted if he has served a sentence of 10-11 years.
South Jakarta District Court judge sentenced Abu Bakar Baasyir to 15 years in prison in 2011 which means he has not been able to get the parole. "All the regulations belong to Kemenkumham and in this case, it is in Dirjenpas," said Ade.