Jakarta police name FPI leader Rizieq as suspect in mass event probe

Muslim cleric Rizieq Shihab was summoned several times for questioning, but has yet to comply with the request.
Muslim cleric Rizieq Shihab was summoned several times for questioning, but has yet to comply with the request.PHOTO: AFP

JAKARTA (THE JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Indonesian cleric Rizieq Shihab and five other people have been named as suspects by the Jakarta police in its investigations into a mass event in November that breached Covid-19 health protocols.

"The result of our investigation concludes that there are six suspects in this case. The first is Mr Rizieq, who is charged under articles 160 and 216 of the Criminal Code," Jakarta Police spokesman Yusri Yunus said on Thursday (Dec 10), as reported by kompas.com.

Rizieq, who leads the influential Islamic Defenders' Front (FPI) group had on Nov 15 held an event at his home and FPI headquarters in central Jakarta to commemorate Prophet Muhammad's birthday and his daughter's wedding, drawing thousands of his supporters and sparking anger from the public.

He was fined 50 million rupiah (S$4,742) by the Jakarta administration for disregarding health protocols imposed to curb the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Other FPI members identified by their initials as suspects include the head of the event organiser HU, the organiser's secretary A and the organiser's security division head MS. Two more suspects are the organiser's guarantor SL and the organiser's event division head HI.

"We have upgraded the status of these six people from witnesses to suspects," Mr Yusri said, adding that the move came following investigations conducted by the Jakarta Police's general crimes unit.

Violations of article 160 on the incitement of criminal acts can be punished with up to six years of imprisonment. Meanwhile article 216 of the Criminal Code stipulates a prison sentence of up to four months and two weeks for those found guilty of obstructing law enforcement efforts.

Police have summoned Rizieq several times for questioning regarding the alleged health protocol violations, but he has yet to comply with their request.

Jakarta governor Anies Baswedan and West Java governor Ridwan Kamil have also been questioned as witnesses in the case.

National police chief Idham Azis also removed Jakarta police chief inspector Nana Sudjana and West Java police chief inspector Rudy Sufahriadi from their posts for their failure to enforce the coronavirus health protocol.