Facial recognition analysis confirms identity of naked woman in sex chat with Indonesian Islamic leader

Indonesian police have said that activist Firza Husein (left) was the naked woman who appeared in sex chats allegedly involving FPI leader Rizieq Shihab (right). PHOTOS: TRIBUNNEWS, AFP

JAKARTA (THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Indonesian National Police has 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 (Inafis) division, said the authorities used several methods, including biometrics, to check whether the woman who appeared in the sex chats was really Ms Firza.

He said the 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 the WhatsApp conversation.

Mr Hery said the team also used a bio-finder method, during which they checked Ms Firza's naked pictures in the WhatsApp conversations 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," Hery said as quoted by kompas.com on Tuesday (May 16).

Earlier this year, the police summoned Ms Firza for questioning after screenshots of what appears to be steamy WhatsApp chats between Mr Rizieq and Ms Firza were uploaded to the Internet.

Ms Firza, who was a coordinator of the Solidaritas Sahabat Cendana foundation, which is connected to the family of former president Soeharto, was reportedly having a relationship with the married man.

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

The Jakarta Police confirmed on Tuesday that Mr Rizieq, who has ignored several police summons for questioning over the alleged pornographic text conversation, was in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Jakarta Police spokesman Senior Commander Argo Yuwono said the police had not decided whether they would send a team to Jeddah to bring Mr Rizieq back to Indonesia.

"We are waiting for the investigators' decision because his status is still as a witness," Sr Cmdr Argo said. The police will coordinate with Interpol and the immigration office in handling the case, he added.

Separately, National Police spokesman Martinus Sitompul said Mr Rizieq should respect the legal process and immediately come back to Indonesia because a warrant had been issued following his failure to show up for police questioning twice as a witness in the pornography case.

Mr Rizieq's lawyer, Mr Kapitra Ampera, said Mr Rizieq departed for Saudi Arabia on umrah (minor haj) with his family on April 27 and had not returned to Indonesia.

"We have communicated with his lawyer several times. We want him to fulfil his obligation as an Indonesian citizen and comply with the law," Mr Martinus said at the National Police headquarters on Tuesday.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.