Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) spokesman Munarman plans to file a pretrial motion after Bali Police named him a suspect for allegedly insulting the traditions of the island's Hindu majority. (Antara Photo/Akbar Nugroho Gumay)

Munarman to File Pretrial Motion After Named Suspect for Insulting Bali's Pecalang

BY :FAROUK ARNAZ & EKO PRASETYO

FEBRUARY 08, 2017

Jakarta. Munarman, the spokesman for the hardline Islamic Defenders Front, or FPI, plans to file a pretrial motion after Bali Police named him a suspect for allegedly insulting the traditions of the island's Hindu majority.

Munarman's lawyer Kapitra Ampera said the motion will be filed at the Denpasar State Court this week.

"We have prepared a pretrial [motion]; we will file it on Thursday or Friday morning at the latest," Kapitra said in Central Jakarta on Wednesday (08/02).

In opposing the charges against his client, Kapitra is arguing that the legal process is set to take place in Bali even though the locus-delicti, or the crime scene location, is in Jakarta.

"We will correct the perception of Bali Police investigators after naming [Munarman] a suspect. We think there is no evidence. The crime scene is in the Kompas office in Jakarta. The locus is in Jakarta, why is he being questioned in Bali?" Kapitra said.

The lawyer claims that Munarman feels unfairly targeted, which is another reason for him filing the pretrial motion.

"Not criminalized, but he felt that he was targeted," Kapitra said.

Bali Police investigators named Munarman a suspect on Tuesday after a preliminary investigation involving 26 witnesses.

In mid-January, dozens of groups in Bali filed police reports against Munarman, who told Kompas TV that the local guardian spirits, known as pecalang, have been used to attack Muslims to prevent them from performing Friday prayers.

The FPI, notorious for vigilantism since its formation in the late 1990s, has failed to establish a stronghold in Bali; the Balinese have been complaining about the group's intolerance and called for its disbandment.

SHARE