Tulungagung journalists nabbed over alleged blackmail
The Tulungagung Police have announced the arrest of three journalists who had allegedly blackmailed their sources. The journalists work for Tabloid News Oposisi and their target is Suwarno, a local official at the Blitar Penitentiary.
The three journalists, identified as Kinan Budistira, a Tulungagung resident; Suprapto, a Madiun resident; and Hariyanto, a resident of Pasuruan.
Tulungagung Police’s Operational division chief First Insp. Siswanto said they had arrested the journalists on Friday night.
“The arrest was made soon after we received a report from one of the victims,” Siswanto said Saturday as quoted by tempo.co.
He said according to preliminary questioning, the blackmailing happened a month ago when these journalists found out leads that Suwarno had received some bribe money in relation with the new civil servant enrollment.
Instead of writing the story, they asked for Rp 2.1 million (US$236) from Suwarno in return for not publishing the article. Suwarno then fulfilled the request and handed over the money near Tulungagung bus terminal, but after handing over the money he ran to the police.
However, according to the Criminal Code, both the giver and the receiver of bribe money are equally subject to investigation process. Both the giver and the receiver will be charged with bribery that carries a maximum nine years imprisonment.
Head the Independent Journalist Alliance (AJI)’s Kediri branch advocacy division Andrean Sunaryo said he was fully supported the police’s action.
“Apparently the number of journalist blackmailing their sources is increasing,” he said.
Therefore he asked people to directly report journalists who conducted such ill behavior to the police.(iwa/dic)