Syech Puji stands his first trial
Suherdjoko, The Jakarta Post, Semarang | Thursday, October 01 2009

Pujiono Cahyono Widianto, who is also known as cleric Syech Puji, stood his first trail on Thursday at the Ungaran District Court in Central Java.

Prosecutors indicted the 43-year-old Syech Puji for illegally marrying 12-year-old Lutfiana Ulfa, as stipulated by the article 88 of the 2002 Law on Child Protection and article 290 of the Criminal Codes. Both articles carry a maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment.

Pujiono's lawyer, Otto Cornelis Kaligis, refused to give any comment after the hearing session.

While the closed-door hearing was being conducted, dozens of activists were rallying outside the courthouse. Some of them were women and child activists, standing against Syech Puji, while the others were Puji's followers.

An activist from the Legal Resources Center for Gender and Human Rights, Evarisam, said that he protested the trial which was closed to the public. "We will soon send a protest letter to the head of the Ungaran District Court. The trial was supposed to be open for public," he told The Jakarta Post.

In March, the police first questioned Syech Puji who had married Ulfa in August 2008.