The Jakarta Post
In a bizarre twist, a day after the opposition camp denounced the alleged assault and “human rights abuse” against its member, Ratna Sarumpaet, the Jakarta Police released on Wednesday a report suggesting, with damning evidence, that Ratna was in fact not assaulted but underwent facial surgery.
Ratna, who is part of presidential challenger Prabowo Subianto's campaign team, claimed to have been assaulted in Bandung, West Java, resulting in injuries to her face, as indicated in pictures purportedly showing her swollen eyes that circulated on social media on Tuesday.
The deputy chairwoman of the Prabowo-Sandiaga Uno campaign team, Nanik S. Deyang, said on Tuesday that the incident took place on Sept. 21 near Husein Sastranegara International Airport.
Ratna and several Sri Lankan and Malaysian friends, she said, were looking to take a taxi from a hotel after attending a conference.
The police were swift to probe her claim, even though Ratna insisted that she would not bring the case to the police. The police’s investigative report shows that many of Ratna’s claims just do not add up.
The police said there was no international conference held in the region on Sept. 21 and that she was not on any flight manifest arriving in Bandung that day.
Room B1 at third floor at the Bina Estetika Hospital where Ratna Sarumpaet is staying during her alleged plastic surgery. (Courtesy of/Jakarta Police)
The police also found out a phone number registered to her name was active in Jakarta from Sept. 20 to Sept.30.
Furthermore, they found that bank accounts belonging to Ratna’s family transferred money to a cosmetic surgery hospital in Jakarta on Sept. 20, Sept. 21 and Sept. 24. The police then obtained hospital documents showing that Ratna was hospitalized after allegedly undergoing facial surgery at Bina Estetika Hospital from Sept. 21 (the day the alleged assault took place) to Sept. 24.
"[Bina Estetika] is a hospital specializing in surgery, including dental surgery and other cosmetic surgery. It is not possible that she went there for treatment after being assaulted," Jakarta Police general crimes director Sr. Comr. Nico Afinta told the press on Wednesday morning.
"Moreover, it is impossible that she was assaulted in Bandung on the evening of Sept. 21, because from Sept. 21 at 5 p.m. until Sept 24 at 9 p.m., she did not leave the hospital," he went on.
To back up their findings, the report includes pictures of CCTV footage of the hospital, purportedly showing Ratna checking in and out of the hospital.
The police also corroborate their claim by showing that the wallpaper in the viral photo of her swollen eyes and bruised face is identical to the wallpaper of the cosmetic surgery hospital.
While Prabowo said he would meet National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian to discuss what he believed was an assault against Ratna, the police suggested that the woman could be charged with spreading lies and hate speech.
Editor's note: This article has been updated to add the police statement from the press conference on Wednesday morning.