JAKARTA: A lawyer for Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama confirmed on Monday that the former Jakarta governor, who is in jail for blasphemy, had taken legal steps to divorce his wife, Veronica Tan.
The confirmation comes following a photo circulated online that apparently showed a formal divorce petition from Ahok being submitted on Sunday to the North Jakarta District Court.
“We can confirm that Pak Ahok has filed for divorce from Ibu Veronica,” Ahok’s lawyer Josefina Agatha Syukur was quoted as saying in a kompas.com report on Monday.
Ahok has also reportedly filed for custody of their children.
Josefina said Ahok submitted the divorce petition to the North Jakarta District Court through his legal team led by Fifi Lety Indra, who is also his sister.
She declined to comment on the reason behind the divorce petition, saying that the matter was a personal one between Ahok and Veronica, and added that the divorce trial would not be open to the public.
The move has come as a shock to many, since the couple continued to display what appeared to be a warm relationship even after Ahok was sentenced to two years for blasphemy on May 9, 2017. Veronica also made headlines later that month, when she burst into tears at a press conference while reading out Ahok’s letter explaining his reasons for not appealing the verdict.
Most recently, a photo of a smiling Veronica wishing her husband a happy birthday was posted last month on Ahok’s official Instagram account. – The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network