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Jakarta Post

Indonesian government tells Rizieq Shihab supporters to respect legal process

  • Haeril Halim

    The Jakarta Post

Bogor, West Java   /   Tue, May 30, 2017   /   09:00 am
Indonesian government tells Rizieq Shihab supporters to respect legal process Islam Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab speaks to reporters before facing police questioning at the Jakarta Police headquarters on Feb. 1. (Antara/Akbar Nugroho Gumay)

Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin said supporters of firebrand cleric Rizieq Shihab should respect the police’s decision to name the Islam Defenders Front (FPI) leader a suspect in a pornography case and called on them to not stage any protests that could be seen as an effort to hamper the legal process.

“We are a democratic country where all disputes must be settled through the courts. The panel of judges will reveal the truth about the case,” Lukman told reporters at the Bogor Palace on Monday.

Rizieq was named a suspect without having undergone police questioning under his previous capacity as a witness as he had failed to answer police summonses issued in April and May.

Meanwhile, Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) chairman Maruf Amin called on Rizieq to respect the legal case by returning to Indonesia to face trial.

“The legal process must be handled in a transparent way so that people can follow its progress,” Makruf said.

Separately, Rizieq's lawyer, Sugioto Atmo Pawiro, said Rizieq would challenge the police claim. 

Sugito, who was in Saudi Arabia with Rizieq, lamented that the police did not make an effort to pursue the uploader of the sexually explicit chats that allegedly took place between Rizieq and Firza Husein, who was named a suspect in the same case on May 16, which led to the pornography charges against Rizieq and Firza.(dmr)