The West Java Police are close to declaring Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab a suspect for allegedly insulting the state ideology of Pancasila. (Reuters Photo/Iqro Rinaldi)

W. Java Police Prepare to Name FPI's Rizieq as Suspect in Pancasila Insult Case


JANUARY 26, 2017

Jakarta. The West Java Police are close to declaring firebrand cleric Rizieq Shihab a suspect for allegedly insulting the state ideology of Pancasila, following a report filed by Sukmawati Sukarnoputri, the daughter of Indonesia's first president, Sukarno.

The leader of the hardline Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) is accused of having violated laws pertaining to the national flag, language, state symbols and national anthem.

"Rizieq will most likely be named as a suspect, which we are one step away from doing. We only have to connect two further pieces of evidence," West Java Police chief Insp. Gen. Anton Charliyan said in Jakarta on Wednesday (25/01).

He added that investigators will step up their efforts to gather additional evidence, in accordance with the law, to avoid any reckless decisions on naming suspects.

"[Declaring suspects] must be based on legal evidence – both material and immaterial," he said.

Anton wants to prove that his investigators are acting in a professional, nonpartisan manner and that they are not being influenced into making subjective judgements.

"Regardless of whether people criticize the National Police for inaction, we will not rush to name Rizieq as a suspect. We will remain objective," he said.

The two-star general also hinted that the police will only summon Rizieq again after he is declared a suspect.

"We will summon him again, but maybe we will clarify his status first before examining his statements. [The summons] may be issued next week, as we need to confront [him with the witnesses], because he did not admit that the person in the video is him," Anton said.

Technical experts questioned by police have meanwhile confirmed that the video evidence is original.

"It shows clear [evidence] of what he would not admit to. You may judge the quality [of the evidence]. He also held press conferences only [to put forward] parts [of the information]," Anton said.