Another political activist, Hatta, nabbed for treason in Jakarta

JAKARTA - Indonesian police have arrested political activist Muhammad Hatta Taliwang on Thursday (Dec 8) in connection with a conspiracy involving at least 11 others to topple the government.

Hatta has been charged over spreading hatred which carries a maximum jail term of six years if he is found guilty, said Jakarta police spokesman Raden Prabowo Argo Yuwono.

The police said he was arrested at 1.30am on Thursday in Central Jakarta after evidence showed that he had uploaded provocative posts on Facebook.

He had allegedly attended a meeting with lawyer-politician Rachmawati Sukarnoputri, a daughter of Indonesia's founding president Sukarno.

Ms Rachmawati was among 11 other people arrested and questioned for planning to destabilise President Joko Widodo's administration by escalating the Dec 2 mass protest against Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama over his alleged blasphemy.

Their plot involved instigating protesters to march to Parliament and take over the complex to pressure lawmakers into impeaching and subsequently removing Mr Joko, said National Police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar on Sunday.

The group, which included two former army generals, comprised mainly political activists who have been publicly critical of Mr Joko and his close ally Basuki, better known as Ahok. The 11 were picked up for questioning just hours before the Dec 2 rally.

Other high-profile suspects were politician and rock musician Ahmad Dhani, retired generals Kivlan Zein and Adityawarman and former lawmaker Sri Bintang Pamungkas. The others were activists Alfin, Eko, Firza Huzein, Jamran, Ratna Sarumpaet and Rizal Kobar.

Police had hinted that there are more suspects involved in the alleged treason plot.

tkchan@sph.com.sg