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Jakarta Post

Police unveil treason plot behind anti-Ahok rally

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, April 4, 2017   /  06:57 am
Police unveil treason plot behind anti-Ahok rally Thousands of people demand the dismissal of Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama over alleged blasphemy in a mass rally on March 31. (Antara/Rosa Panggabean)

The Jakarta Police revealed on Monday their preliminary findings following Thursday night’s arrest of five treason suspects, including the leader of hard-line organization the Muslim People’s Forum (FUI) Muhammad Al-Khaththath, prior to a rally in the capital.

Al-Khaththath, who was the rally coordinator, was arrested at the Kempinski Hotel in Central Jakarta, hours before the rally, which demanded the incarceration of Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama for alleged blasphemy, was staged.

Besides Al Khaththath, the other four suspects have been named as Diko Nugraha, Andre, Irwansyah and Zainuddin Arsyad, all senior members of various Muslim organizations.

Jakarta Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Argo Yuwono alleged the suspects had held secret discussions plotting the overthrow of the government.

Two of the suspects, Al-Khaththath and Irwansyah, began drawing up their plot to topple the government during their first two meetings in Kalibata, South Jakarta, and Menteng, Central Jakarta, said Argo, who did not reveal the exact dates of the meetings.

“There were detailed plans to occupy the House of Representatives, including plans on logistics and routes. They even planned to ram trucks into the back gate of the House [in order to break into the complex],” said Argo.

The suspects mapped seven entrances and a network of underground sewers that could be used by a mob to enter the House and subdue it, he said.

Afterward, the suspects started discussing how to fund their action, including funds that were channeled to finance the rally, he said.

“Based on the investigation, we found that they needed Rp 3 billion [US$225,000] in funding to execute their treason plot. However, we are still looking into that to discover the details,” said Argo. All the detainees have been charged under articles 107 and 110 of the Criminal Code (KUHP) on treason, which carry maximum sentences of life imprisonment.

The suspects denied the allegations, Argo said, adding that AlKhaththath had refused to sign the police’s dossiers.

The police confiscated several smartphones and laptops, a banner that read “Muslim governor for Jakarta,” several posters and two books that allegedly recorded the suspects’ spending for the foiled treason attempt.

Argo also reaffirmed that the suspects detained last Friday were not related to the suspects who were arrested before the Dec. 2 rally last year on similar charges.

Meanwhile, the National Movement to Safeguard the Indonesian Ulema Council’s Fatwa (GNPF-MUI) held a press conference on Monday to voice its support for Al-Khaththath and urge the police to release him and the other suspects.

A lawyer from GNPF-MUI’s advocacy team, Nasrullah Nasution, expressed his puzzlement about the arrests and said that his organization would do its best to get Khaththath released.

The GNPF-MUI, he said, would prioritize Khaththath’s release before the release of the others. (dea)

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