Liues Sungkharisma arrives at the Jakarta Police headquarters on Monday. (Antara Photo/Reno Esnir)

Prabowo Spokesman Arrested for Treason and Spreading Fake News


MAY 20, 2019

Jakarta. Lieus Sungkharisma, a spokesman for Prabowo Subianto's campaign team, was arrested by the police on Monday to be interrogated on charges of treason and spreading fake news.

Lieus was arrested in an apartment in West Jakarta on Monday morning.

Police have already summoned him twice for questioning, but Lieus never responded.

In a video that went viral on Monday, Lieus was seen making light of the police summons.

"I think this government is wrong. They think we can be scared off with these treason allegations…. [But we] are not afraid, even if they're arresting us, because we're fighting for the sovereignty of the people," Lieus said in the video..

"We must fight [their attempts] at scaring us," he said.

In another video shared among journalists on Monday, Lieus was seen arguing with police officers when they tried to arrest him at the apartment.

He was then brought to the Jakarta Police headquarters to be interrogated as a suspect. 

"Yes, [Lieus] has been arrested," Jakarta Police spokesman Chief Comr. Argo Yuwono told the Jakarta Globe on Monday.

A man called Eman Soleman filed a police report against Lieus in early May for spreading fake news.

"This is unfair [that] I've been accused of treason.... [But] no problem for me. This is what's called a struggle; [this] will not scare us. [I'm not here because of] the police summons, this is an arrest," Lieus said when he arrived at the police headquarters.

Police have also detained another Prabowo supporter, lawyer Eggy Sudjana, on treason charges after he called for a "people power" demonstration to reject the official result of last month's presidential election if, as several quick counts have already shown, Prabowo and his running mate Sandiaga Uno fail to win.

The General Elections Commission (KPU) made a surprise announcement ahead of schedule of the presidential election result on Monday evening.

Of the 154.26 million valid votes that were cast, 55.5 percent were in favor of Prabowo's rival, incumbent president Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, and his running mate Ma'ruf Amin. 

Investigators have also questioned Kivlan Zein, the former chief of staff of the Army's Strategic Command (Kostrad), on the same charges of treason and spreading fake news based on a police report filed by another man. Kivlan is another key supporter of Prabowo.

Senior politician Amien Rais, the head of the National Mandate Party's (PAN) advisory board and another key Prabowo supporter who was seen at his side when the former general declared victory in defiance of the quick count results, has also been reported to the police for treason

Amien was scheduled to be interrogated on Monday but did not turn up to the interview.