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)

Legal Expert: FPI Should Be Disqualified From Testifying in Ahok Blasphemy Case


NOVEMBER 16, 2016

Jakarta. Investigators from the National Police's criminal investigation unit should disqualify the testimony of Rizieq Syihab, leader of the Islamic Defender Front, or FPI, in an alleged blasphemy case against Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, legal expert Risha S. Halim said.

Risha pointed to FPI as a complainant, as well as multiple public statements made by Rizieq claiming Basuki blasphemed Islam, shows Rizieq has no objectivity in the case.


“In the practice of justice, an expert invited to give analysis is someone who has no conflicts of interest, both in the position of the complainants or the defendants,” Risha said in Jakarta on Tuesday (15/11).

“Investigators’ stance that accommodate Habib Rizieq’s wish as an expert in this case should be questioned, as it refers to their independence and neutrality. Legally, Rizieq is unable to act objectively when providing information as a witness, as it carries legal implication,” Risha added.

Moreover, he continued, if investigators still put Rizieq’s statement in the case expose as part of their consideration, it would taint the entire result of investigations.

“Such an act will make an impression that investigators have lost their sense of neutrality and independence of investigators in the alleged blasphemy case, as the public will question the results of the investigation,” Risha said.

“The public will also question how a state institution [police] as law enforcer is easily dictated and controlled by special interest groups, like FPI.”