Police added firebrand cleric Rizieq Shihab to its most wanted list on Wednesday (31/05), after officially naming the Islamic Defenders' Front, or FPI, leader a suspect in an ongoing pornography case on Monday. (Antara Photo/Akbar Nugroho Gumay)

Nat'l Police Ready to Face Pretrial Motion Filed by FPI Leader Rizieq Shihab


FEBRUARY 01, 2017

Jakarta. National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Rikwanto said firebrand cleric Rizieq Shihab is free to file a pretrial motion after he was named a suspect for defamation and insulting the state ideology of Pancasila.

"He can do that. It is the defendant's right. If he objects, he can file a pretrial motion. The investigators have a timeline and a strong foundation [to name him a suspect]," Rikwanto said in Jakarta on Wednesday (01/02).

Legal counsel for the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) previously claimed to have filed a pretrial motion to the court the day after Rizieq was named a suspect.

However, officials have yet to confirm their claim.

The West Java Police charged Rizieq based on a report filed on Oct. 27 last year by Sukmawati Sukarnoputri, one of former President Sukarno's daughters.

He allegedly defamed Sukarno and mocked a decision by the country's secular and religious leaders to drop the so-called Jakarta Charter, which before Indonesia's independence sought to include in Pancasila an obligation for Muslims to follow Islamic law.

This is just one of several criminal cases Rizieq currently faces.

He is also under investigation for allegedly illegally occupying state land in Megamendung, a subdistrict of Bogor, West Java. The cleric is further implicated in an alleged plot against the government in December last year – in which he was also questioned as a witness on Wednesday.

He is further facing a series of lawsuits brought against him by various groups.