RELIGION

Judges rule Jakarta governor blasphemy trial closed to media

  • Jakarta Gov. Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama gestures to visitors inside a courtroom during his trial in Jakarta, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017. The North Jakarta District Court has ruled that witness testimony will be closed to the media in the blasphemy trial of the capital's minority Christian governor. (Irwan Rismawan/Pool Photo via AP)

    Jakarta Gov. Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama gestures to visitors inside a courtroom during his trial in Jakarta, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017. The North Jakarta District Court has ruled that witness testimony will be closed to the media in the blasphemy trial of the capital's minority Christian governor. (Irwan Rismawan/Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Supporters of Jakarta Gov. Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama shout slogans during a rally outside a court where his trial is held in Jakarta, Indonesia, Tuesday, Jan. 3,2017. The North Jakarta District Court has ruled that witness testimony will be closed to the media in the blasphemy trial of the capital's minority Christian governor. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)

    Supporters of Jakarta Gov. Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama shout slogans during a rally outside a court where his trial is held in Jakarta, Indonesia, Tuesday, Jan. 3,2017. The North Jakarta District Court has ruled that witness testimony will be closed to the media in the blasphemy trial of the capital's minority Christian governor. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)  (The Associated Press)

  • Indonesian police officers carry riot shields as they are deployed outside a court where the trial of Jakarta Gov. Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama is held in Jakarta, Indonesia, Tuesday, Jan. 3,2017. The North Jakarta District Court has ruled that witness testimony will be closed to the media in the blasphemy trial of the capital's minority Christian governor. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)

    Indonesian police officers carry riot shields as they are deployed outside a court where the trial of Jakarta Gov. Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama is held in Jakarta, Indonesia, Tuesday, Jan. 3,2017. The North Jakarta District Court has ruled that witness testimony will be closed to the media in the blasphemy trial of the capital's minority Christian governor. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)  (The Associated Press)

An Indonesian court has ruled that witness testimony will be closed to the media in the blasphemy trial of the capital's minority Christian governor.

Gov. Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama is charged with insulting Islam and desecrating the Quran by using one of its verses to boost his chances of winning re-election. The 50-year-old Ahok is seeking a second term as Jakarta's governor in elections due in February.

A five-judge panel ruled Tuesday that journalists will not be allowed to cover witness testimony and that spectators can't bring cellphones inside the courtroom. Witness testimony began shortly after the decision.

Ahok's lawyer Trimoelja Soerjadi said the ruling was aimed at protecting the witnesses given the huge attention the trial has received in the world's most populous Muslim nation.