Jakarta. 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.
"We formally added Rizieq to our most wanted list today," Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Raden Prabowo Argo Yuwono said on Wednesday.
Investigators plan to hold a coordination meeting in coming days to map out further actions to bring Rizieq to justice, which may include asking Interpol to issue a "red notice," or international arrest warrant, for the cleric.
"Like I said yesterday, following our warrant, we went to the suspect’s residence. Then, we went to the Immigration Office to find out when [Rizieq] left the country and when he plans to return," Argo said.
"The suspect departed on April 26 and has yet to return. Based on that, investigators added Rizieq to the wanted list," he added.
The cleric left Indonesia in April with his family for the umrah, or mini pilgrimage to Mecca. He has yet to return to the country and his whereabouts are still uncertain. The police suspect he is still in Saudi Arabia.
"His presence on our most wanted list is in large part due to his absence from the country," Argo said.
Rizieq, who has spent years preaching conservative Islamic values, is accused of violating Indonesia's strict anti-pornography laws by exchanging graphic messages and nude pictures with Firza Husein.
"We are currently discussing future steps, including on whether we ask for Rizieq's passport information, or to request Interpol issue the red notice. We will wait for the meeting’s results," Argo said.
Firza has also been named as a suspect in the case.