Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama has taken legal measures to divorce Veronica Tan, his wife of 20 years, Ahok’s lawyer has confirmed. The former Jakarta governor is currently in jail for blasphemy,
“We can confirm that Pak Ahok has filed for divorce from Ibu Veronica,” said lawyer Josefina Agatha Syukur, as quoted by kompas.com.
The confirmation from Ahok’s lawyer was much anticipated after photos of a formal divorce petition from Ahok directed to the North Jakarta District Court had circulated online, sparking debates as to whether or not the picture was part of yet another fake news piece linked to Ahok.
Josefina confirmed the news and announced that Ahok, who has also reportedly filed for custody of his children, has submitted the divorce petition through his legal team. Josefina declined to comment when asked about the reason behind the divorce petition.
Speaking to local media, Josefina said that Ahok was saddened by the decision he has had to take. “Of course he is sad. As [a] human, who wouldn’t be sad about a divorce? Nobody. Including Pak Ahok. Of course he doesn’t (really) want a divorce,” she said, adding that Ahok had been forced to make the decision because of certain circumstances.
Many people have expressed disbelief at the news, particularly given that Ahok and his wife seemed to be happy in their marriage even after Ahok was sentenced to two years for blasphemy in May last year.
Read more about Ahok’s trial here.