The Jakarta Post
Following a scandal in which she lied to the public about undergoing cosmetic surgery, political activist Ratna Sarumpaet was arrested on Thursday evening at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Banten.
The former member of presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto’s campaign team was arrested prior to departing for Chile, where she planned to attend a conference.
The Jakarta Police said Ratna, who earlier claimed she had been assaulted to explain a photo showing her with a swollen face, had been named a suspect for allegedly spreading fake news.
The police’s violent crimes unit head, Adj. Sr. Comr. Jerry Siagian, said Ratna had initially been named a witness in the case but refused to come in for questioning. Her status was then upgraded to that of a suspect after police learned of her travel plans.
“We summoned her as a witness on Monday. She should have informed us if she planned on going somewhere. Not just leave,” said Jerry as quoted by kompas.com.
She stands accused of violating Article 28 of the Electronic Information and Transactions Law.
Earlier this week, a photo of Ratna in which she appeared to have a swollen under eye circulated on social media.
Ratna later claimed to have been assaulted by unknown people at Husein Sastranegara International Airport in Bandung, West Java, prompting a frenzy in the Prabowo camp, which referred to the matter as a human rights violation.
Police claimed that Ratna’s facial condition was the result of liposuction, forcing her to retract her claims.