Firza Husein, a key witness in an ongoing pornography case allegedly implicating firebrand Islamist cleric Rizieq Shihab, remained tight-lipped as she underwent interrogation by Jakarta Police on Tuesday (16/05).(Antara Photo/Puspa Perwitasari)

FPI's Rizieq Shihab, Munarman Dodge Questioning in Ahmad Dhani Case


NOVEMBER 24, 2016

Jakarta. High-profile cleric Rizieq Shihab and spokesman Munarman of the hardliner group Islamic Defenders Front, or FPI, failed to meet a police summons on Thursday (24/11) in an investigation of alleged defamation of a state symbol by rock star Ahmad Dhani.

Dhani, who is also a deputy district head candidate in Bekasi, West Java, was reported to police two weeks ago after allegedly insulting President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo during the Nov. 4 mass rally against Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama.

Police have scheduled questioning of six other witnesses: Dhani and his wife Mulan Jameela, activist Ratna Sarumpaet, cleric Bachtiar Nasi, lawmaker Amien Rais and lawyer Eggy Sudjana. Only Eggy has attended the summon.

“Munarman cannot make it for today's questioning since he has an event that must be attended. I'm here to tell the police about that,” his lawyer Kapitra Ampera told reporters in Jakarta on Thursday.

He added Rizieq was unable to attend the Jakarta Police meeting due to his busy schedule.

The lawsuit against Dhani was filed by Projo and Laskar Rakyat Jakarta, two volunteer groups which campaigned for Jokowi during the 2014 presidential election.

Dhani has been accused of insulting the head of state in public, which under Criminal Code Procedure could see him jailed for 18 months.