Jakarta. Jakarta Police will ask Interpol to issue a red notice for firebrand cleric Rizieq Shihab, the leader of the Islamic Defenders Front or FPI, who has been named as a suspect in the exchange of pornographic messages and photos, a police spokesman said on Tuesday (30/05).
Investigators on Tuesday issued a warrant for Rizieq's arrest to complete the requirement for a red notice.
Interpol's red notice is today's equivalent of an international arrest warrant.
Jakarta Police Spokesman Chief Comr. Argo Yuwono said investigators decided to ask for Interpol's help to bring Rizieq back to the country since the FPI leader had already evaded police questioning twice in April and May.
At the moment, police investigators are still trying to find out Rizieq’s whereabouts.
"We will work with the Immigration Office to find his exact location," Argo said.
The cleric left Indonesia in April with his family for the umrah, or mini pilgrimage to Mecca. He has yet to return to Indonesia and his whereabouts are still uncertain. The police suspect he is still in Saudi Arabia.
"We will request that Interpol issue a red notice for Rizieq since there are no signs he will be returning to Indonesia," Argo said.
Rizieq was charged with violating Indonesia's strict anti-pornography laws after screenshots of his WhatsApp chat with a woman called Firza Husein that contained graphic messages and nude pictures were leaked and went viral.
Firza has also been named as a suspect in the case.
Watch Indonesia Highlights at 8 p.m. tonight on the Jakarta Globe News Channel to find out more.