Expert confirms identity of woman in Indonesian sex chats

A bio-finder method was used to identify Ms Firza Husein. Her nude photos in the WhatsApp chats and her pictures on her ID card and in the Home Ministry's e-ID database were checked.
A bio-finder method was used to identify Ms Firza Husein. Her nude photos in the WhatsApp chats and her pictures on her ID card and in the Home Ministry's e-ID database were checked.PHOTO: TRIBUNNEWS

JAKARTA • Indonesian police have said that a facial recognition analysis has confirmed that a naked woman who appeared in sex chats allegedly involving Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab is female activist Firza Husein.

Mr Hery Cahyono, a face recognition expert from the police's Indonesia Automatic Fingerprints Identification System division, said the authorities used several methods, including biometrics, to check whether the woman who appeared in the sex chats was really Ms Firza.

The issue is watched closely because Mr Rizieq was one of the key organisers of massive street demonstrations to oust outgoing Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, who is behind bars after being found guilty of blasphemy in the Muslim-majority country.

Mr Hery said police compared pictures of the female activist when she was arrested over an alleged plot against the government on Feb 4 with her suspected pictures in WhatsApp conversations, which have gone viral.

He said the team also used a bio-finder method, during which they checked Ms Firza's nude pictures in the WhatsApp chats and her pictures on her ID card and in the Home Ministry's e-ID database.

"The automatic algorithm system shows that all those pictures match. The system would refuse to (report a match) if the pictures were from two different people," Mr Hery was quoted as saying by news website kompas.com on Tuesday.

Police have earlier summoned Ms Firza, a 44-year-old divorcee, for questioning, after screenshots of what appear to be steamy WhatsApp chats between her and Mr Rizieq, a 51-year-old who is married, were uploaded on the Internet.

Ms Firza was a coordinator of the Solidaritas Sahabat Cendana foundation, which is connected to the family of former president Suharto.

"This case is fabricated and libellous," Ms Firza's lawyer Azis Yanuar said.

THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 18, 2017, with the headline 'Expert confirms identity of woman in Indonesian sex chats'. Print Edition | Subscribe