Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab. (Antara Photo/Hafidz Mubarak A.)

W. Java Police to Summon FPI's Rizieq Again Over Pancasila Insult Allegations


JANUARY 20, 2017

Jakarta. West Java Police will again summon Rizieq Shihab, leader of the hardline Islamic Defenders Front, or FPI, as they proceed with an investigation into allegations that he insulted the official state ideology, known as Pancasila.

"We will most likely summon him again in the near future," West Java Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Yusri Yunus said in Bandung on Thursday (19/01).

However, Yusri said investigators have yet to name Rizieq as a suspect in the case.

"His status is still that of a witness," he said.

The spokesman added that the police will hold a case exposé at the start of the investigation.

"We will hold a case exposé within these [next two] weeks, as 13 witnesses have been questioned so far," Yusri said.

Police also summoned Rizieq on Jan. 12, when he had to answer 22 questions.

Setia Untung Ari Muladi, head of the West Java High Prosecutors Office, has meanwhile declined to respond to questions on whether Rizieq would be named a suspect in the case.

He did however confirm receipt of the so-called SPDP, or letter on the start of an investigation, from police on Tuesday, adding that the prosecution is now waiting for the completed case file.

"We have received the SPDP. Surely, we will follow the developments in the police investigation," Ari said.

Rizieq has a string of police reports against him, ranging from blasphemy and hate speech, to defamation.

He was also reported to the Jakarta Police recently for allegedly saying that the new Indonesian banknotes feature the hammer-and-sickle symbol that resembles the logo of the long-disbanded and prohibited Indonesian Communist Party (PKI). Video footage of the speech in which he made the comments went viral on social media.

Several watchdog organizations and experts have called on the National Police to fast-track the investigations against him.