Rizieq Shihab, center, is on the run from the police after pornography charges. (Reuters Photo/Darren Whiteside)

State Intelligence Agency Denies Involvement in Rizieq Shihab's Pornography Case


JUNE 13, 2017

Jakarta. Indonesia's State Intelligence Agency, or BIN, on Tuesday (13/06) denied allegations it had distributed screen captures of online messaging chats between Islamic Defenders Front leader Rizieq Shihab and a woman called Firza Husein, which reportedly contained pornographic materials.

Rizieq is currently on the run from police after being charged with violating Indonesia's pornography law.

BIN said people found of disseminating false information could be charged with Article 311 on defamation of the Indonesian criminal code.

"The allegations are not true. BIN is not involved in the case against RS [Rizieq Shihab]," BIN deputy of information and communication Sundawan Salya said in a press release received by the Jakarta Globe.

He added that since this is a criminal case, its investigation falls within the domain of the police.

Sundawan was responding to allegations made in a blog post at analisabaladacintarizieq.blogspot.co.id which claimed BIN had distributed pornographic pictures and videos featuring Firza and Rizieq on the baladacintarizieq.com website.

The blog has since been deleted.

The blog post also alleged that a man called Irfan Miftach operated the website and was affiliated with BIN.

Irfan on Sunday said in a post on anarchy.chaos.id he had mirrored the website as part of his digital forensic training, but did not post the contents on the site. He also said he was not affiliated with BIN and denied that BIN had anything to do with the site in question.

Sundawan also said BIN had no affiliaton with Irfan. If Irfan was indeed the man behind the offending website, he will be personally responsible for it.

"The allegations against BIN are against the law, they're pure slander. The author can be charged with Article 311 of the criminal code," Sundawan said.

On May 17, Jakarta Police named Firza a suspect in the ongoing pornography case, accusing her of sharing pornographic content, including nude pictures of herself, in WhatsApp chats with Rizieq.

Two weeks later, Rizieq was named a suspect in the case after he skipped two summons to be interrogated as a witness. He had already flown out of Indonesia when he was formally charged and until today has not shown any intention of returning home to face the allegation.

According to his lawyer Sugito Atmo Prawiro, Rizieq is currently in Saudi Arabia and will not be coming back to Indonesia to answer the police summons.

Ever since the firebrand cleric was named a suspect, his supporters have accused people in the government or affiliated with the government of conspiring to put him behind bars.