Jakarta. A Jakarta court on Wednesday declared a former secretary-general of hardline group Islamic Defenders Front, or FPI, guilty of terrorism and sentenced him to three years in prison.
Munarman, 53, has established ties with terrorist organization the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and incited people to pledge allegiance to then the group’s leader Abu Bakar Al Baghdadi, according to the verdict read aloud at the East Jakarta District Court.
The panel of judges referred to an article of the anti-terrorism law that carries jail punishment for the act of “concealing information about terrorism”.
Prosecutors, who also alleged that Munarman had links to suicide bombers who attacked churches in Makassar and the Philippines, demanded eight years’ imprisonment for Munarman during a hearing last month.
Both the defense and prosecution teams immediately said they would appeal against the verdict and sentencing.
Witnesses have told the court that Munarman and two clerics Basri and Amshori, both have now died, led participants of a religious congregation in South Sulawesi capital Makassar and North Sumatra capital Medan to pledge allegiance to the ISIS leader in 2015.
Munarman has repeatedly said that he was targeted by security officials to silence his voice about the killing of six FPI members.
His verdict came nearly a year after former FPI leader Rizieq Syihab was sentenced to four years in jail for “spreading false claims about his medical condition and inciting unrest” upon arrival from Saudi Arabia amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
On Dec. 7, 2020, six FPI members were fatally shot while trying to divert a police chase from a vehicle convoy carrying Syihab, who at that time was sought by police for questioning related to his medical record.
Two officers accused of killing the FPI members were recently acquitted by the court.
The government also included the FPI in the list of proscribed organizations, citing links to terrorism and violent acts against civilians.
According to government data, at least 35 members or former members of the group have been implicated with terrorism and 29 of them are convicted.