GNPF-MUI Leader Skips Police Questioning in Money-Laundering Investigation

BY :FAROUK ARNAZ

FEBRUARY 08, 2017

Jakarta. The leader of the Guardians of the Indonesian Ulema Council's Fatwas, or GNPF-MUI, which initiated the Nov. 4 and Dec. 2 mass rallies in Jakarta, failed to answer a police summons on Wednesday (08/02) for questioning as a witness in a money-laundering investigation.

GNPF-MUI chairman Bachtiar Nasir instead delegated his lawyer, Kapitra Ampera, to go to the offices of the National Police Criminal Investigation Unit (Bareskrim) to dispute the summons.

"I will question whether this summons has been issued in accordance with the law. This letter was received on Monday, Feb. 6. According to Article 227 of the Criminal Code Procedure Law, the witness must receive the letter at least three days before questioning," Kapitra told reporters.

Police summoned Bachtiar as a witness in their investigation into the Justice for All Foundation, which allegedly shelled out cash and assets to its founders, administrators and supervisors in the form of salaries and honoraria.

However, police did not say why the practice was subject to a criminal investigation.

Kapitra said the Justice for All Foundation is one of many that collected donations to stage the mass rallies in the capital late last year.

The two protest marches, which involved more than 100,000 Muslims taking the streets in Central Jakarta, were held to demand the detention of Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnawa on blasphemy charges.

Kapitra said his client was not involved in the establishment of the Justice for All Foundation and was not even a member.

"We will wait for the other summons from the police. I hope the questioning will take place after the regional election [on Feb. 15]," the lawyer added.

West Java Police named Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab a suspect last week in a case involving insults against the Pancasila state ideology.

The Bali Police have also named FPI spokesman Munarman a suspect for reportedly having insulted the traditions of the Hindu-majority island.

Rizieq, Munarman and Bachtiar were responsible for organizing last year's mass rallies.

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