Jakarta. Former Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Roy Suryo has been charged with blasphemy after retweeting doctored pictures of a Buddhist statue in Borobudur Temple.
Roy underwent a lengthy questioning on Friday and left the Jakarta Police headquarters in a wheelchair.
Police said they decided not to detain the suspect.
Jakarta Police spokesman Chief Comr. Endra Zulpan said Roy was charged under Article 156a of the Criminal Code on blasphemy which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
In addition, police also use the Law on Electronic Information and Transaction to charge Suryo with “spreading information with an intent of inciting sectarian hatred”.
Roy, 54, drew outrage among the supporters of President Joko Widodo after retweeting the picture of a Buddhist statue edited to resemble the president’s face on June 10.
A representative of Buddhist community Buddha Nusantara lodged a complaint against Roy to the Jakarta Police after his now-deleted post went viral, suggesting that the former minister has offended Buddhist followers in the country.
Roy, who served as minister from 2013-14 during the Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono presidency, has publicly apologized to the Buddhist community and argued that he had no intention to offend them.
He also said he is not the person who doctored the picture and has reported the Twitter account that published the original post to the police.
But he was tight-lipped when escorted to his car after the police questioning Friday evening.
“He’s exhausted,” his attorney, Elza Syarief, told reporters.