West Java Police Summon Habib Rizieq Again for Alleged Insult Against Pancasila

For weeks Rizieq has been fleeing police investigation. He is charged with engaging in pornographic WhatsApp chats, which is an offense under Indonesia's strict anti-pornography law. (SP Photo/Joanito De Saojoao)

By : Vento Saudale & Eko Prasetyo | on 7:54 PM January 11, 2017
Category : News, Crime

Jakarta. West Java Police have issued a second summon for Habib Rizieq Shihab, the leader of the hardline group FPI, or the Islamic Defenders Front, to be interrogated for allegedly insulting the official state ideology Pancasila.

Rizieq had failed to respond to his first summon and now police say they may have to take the firebrand cleric by force to the interrogation if he fails again to respond to the second summon.

"We hope the defendant [Rizieq] can come to the interrogation on Thursday (12/01). Otherwise we will have to force him to come," Chief Comr. Yusri Yunus of the West Java Police said on Tuesday.

Yusri said Rizieq had failed to attend an interrogation scheduled for him last Thursday.

The police spokesman also said that investigators have studied a video submitted by Sukmawati Soekarnoputri, the daughter of Indonesia's first president Soekarno, who reported Rizieq for alleged slander against Pancasila.

Investigators have also acquired statements from witnesses. "A total of 10 witnesses have been questioned in this case," Yusri said.

National Police Chief Gen. Tito Karnavian said the police have the right to force Rizieq to attend the interrogation.

"Sukmawati [Soekarnoputri] had reported him for allegedly insulting Pancasila and Soekarno. He had apparently used the word 'puntut' or 'pantat' [bottom]," Tito said in Palembang on Monday.

"Rizieq claimed he was ill when he failed to attend an interrogation on Jan. 5," he added.

Rizieq has been reported to the police many times, the most recent being a report filed by the Indonesian Catholic Students Association (PMKRI) for alleged hate speech.

Earlier, youth organization Rumah Pelita also reported Rizieq for alleged hate speech. Several watchdog organizations and experts have called on the National Police to fast track their investigations against him.

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