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Jakarta Post

Police chief backs defamation report against rights activist

  • Marguerite Afra Sapiie
    Marguerite Afra Sapiie

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, August 3, 2016   /  07:28 pm
Police chief backs defamation report against rights activist National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian (right) and Indonesian Military (TNI) chief Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo speak to journalists in Palu, Central Sulawesi, on July 20. (Antara Foto/Basri Marzuki)

National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian insists that the force has a lawful reason for filing a legal suit against human rights activists Haris Azhar for alleged defamation, insisting that comments made by Haris harmed the force.

Haris' comments regarding the testimony of executed drug convict Freddy Budiman on the alleged involvement of security personnel in drugs smuggling operations was premature and not credible, Tito claimed. Especially, he added, as the testimony came from a criminal convict known for the inconsistency of his statements.

"From the plea document and our investigation into Freddy's lawyers, we have also found no clause that could confirm [the involvement of security personnel]," Tito said on Wednesday.

Haris should have cross-checked the information with other reliable sources before making it public, the police chief went on, especially since it was related to national institutions.

The testimony sparked anger among the National Police, Indonesian Military (TNI) and the National Narcotics Agency (BNN), as the three institutions were mentioned in the long article that went viral online; Haris was reported to the National Police's Criminal Investigation Department (Bareskrim) for alleged defamation on Tuesday.

The three bodies accuse Haris of violating the 2008 Electronic Information and Transactions (ITE) Law by circulating the testimony of Freddy, who was executed early last Friday, regarding the purported involvement of personnel from the three institutions in his international drug network. (rin)


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