Indonesian police reveal more on plot to topple govt

Politician Rachmawati Sukarnoputri, a daughter of Indonesia's founding president Sukarno, was part of a conspiracy to topple the government, Indonesian police have said.
Politician Rachmawati Sukarnoputri, a daughter of Indonesia's founding president Sukarno, was part of a conspiracy to topple the government, Indonesian police have said. PHOTO: THE JAKARTA POST

Sukarno's daughter and others 'planned to use Jakarta rally as means to oust Jokowi'

Politician Rachmawati Sukarnoputri, a daughter of Indonesia's founding president Sukarno, was part of a conspiracy to topple the government, Indonesian police have said.

National Police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar told reporters yesterday that the 66-year-old and 10 others had planned to destabilise President Joko Widodo's administration by escalating Friday's 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 in order to pressure lawmakers into impeaching and subsequently removing Mr Joko, he said.

"We didn't have to wait until it happens (to act), when there is clear intention and (a) conspiracy to do so," said the police general, when asked why the police decided to act.

The group, which included two former army generals, comprised mainly political activists who have been publicly critical of Mr Joko and his close ally, Mr Basuki. The 11 were picked up for questioning just hours before Friday's rally.

PRE-EMPTIVE ACT

The arrests were made to prevent anyone from taking advantage of the rally. We don't want to allow others with a different agenda to ride on the event.

NATIONAL POLICE SPOKESMAN BOY RAFLI AMAR, on why the police decided to act.

General Boy, when naming the suspects yesterday, said their arrests were a pre-emptive move by the authorities to ensure that the rally, attended by half a million people, did not escalate into violence after investigations uncovered the group's plot to use the protest to subvert the government.

"The arrests were made to prevent anyone from taking advantage of the rally," he said. "We don't want to allow others with a different agenda to ride on the event."

The 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.

Ms Rachmawati and seven others - Mr Adityawarman, Mr Ahmad Dhani, Mr Alfin, Mr Eko, Ms Firza, Mr Kivlan and Ms Ratna - have been released pending further investigations, said police.

Mr Sri Bintang as well as brothers Mr Jamran and Mr Rizal remain in detention and are being questioned for spreading hatred and inciting treason using social media platforms such as YouTube.

 

All 11 suspects, however, are likely to face trial for "makar", the local slang for trying to overthrow the government, or hate speech, said Gen Boy. He added that police investigators had decided to round up the group only after they had built a case with wiretapped conversations and handwritten documents.

Under Indonesian law, a person found guilty of treason can face life in prison.

Mr Joko and National Police chief Tito Karnavian had hinted that "political actors" were behind three recent protests against Mr Basuki. Observers say the arrests are a signal to Mr Joko's opponents that he will not tolerate any plot to subvert his office.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 04, 2016, with the headline 'Indonesian police reveal more on plot to topple govt'. Print Edition | Subscribe