Gregory Luke

Dec 16th, 2010, in Featured, News, by

Lombok expat Gregory Luke jailed for blasphemous tampering with mosque sound systems.

Gregory Luke of Lombok

American guesthouse owner Gregory Lloyd Luke, 64 years old, was sentenced to five months prison after being convicted of two counts of blasphemy and one of disorderly conduct at the Praya District Court in Lombok yesterday.

On August 22nd 2010 Luke had angrily pulled out the plug of a sound system in a mosque near his home in Kuta, Lombok, after complaining that a prayer reading being held was too loud and distorted. Local residents then became angry with him, went to his home and ransacked it, causing about 200 million rupiah damage; no-one has been prosecuted for this crime. Luke was later arrested and charged with blasphemy.

Initially after being arrested Luke denied that he had pulled out the plug, but in court he confessed to the deed. Prosecutors had sought a 7 month term for Luke, far less than the maximum 5 years, but Judge Suhartoyo said there were mitigating factors, they being that he:

  • was polite in court
  • had expressed remorse
  • was a Muslim
  • had no prior convictions
  • had helped promote tourism in Lombok

Luke, who wore a sarong, polo shirt and peci at the hearing, said in his plea for mercy:

I apologise for my wrongdoing in the mosque. I've followed all the trial proceedings and listened to the witnesses' testimonies. I hope I can get the lightest sentence.

Neither the prosecution nor the defence intends to challenge any part of the verdict or sentencing.

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