Indonesian celebrity/influencer Raffi Ahmad may be off the hook, legally speaking, after authorities said the birthday party he attended last Wednesday didn’t violate health protocols.
The 33-year-old became the subject of controversy after he attended the party on the same day he received the COVID-19 vaccine, especially as he was among the first Indonesians to be awarded the privilege. The public accused Raffi of betraying the trust placed upon him, as he was supposed to set an example in the fight against the viral disease.
Despite calls for Raffi, as well as the party’s host and other guests, to be prosecuted for violation of the health quarantine law, the police say there was insufficient evidence to make the argument.
Jakarta Metro Police Spokesman Yusri Yunus said that businessman Ricardo Gelael, who hosted the gathering for his birthday, didn’t invite the guests to his house in the first place. The police recently questioned the party guests — who were mainly public figures — and they claimed to have attended the event without invitation from Ricardo.
“There were 18 people in the party, they weren’t invited but they came by themselves,” Yusri told reporters today, adding that the party was held at an indoor basketball court in the house.
Yusri said that authorities have inspected Ricardo’s house to check for any possible violations.
“[The party] didn’t violate any elements of Article 93 [of the Health Quarantine Law]. Because the 18 people there entered the venue after observing health protocols, we checked them all already. They had to take antigen rapid tests [prior to attending the party],” he said.
Article 93 states that violation of established health protocols during a disease outbreak is punishable by up to one year in prison and/or a fine of up to IDR100 million (US$7,087).
Though Raffi likely won’t be tried criminally, a lawyer named David Tobing last Friday filed a civil lawsuit against the celebrity at the Depok District Court, West Java, demanding that he be ordered to isolate at home for 30 days after receiving his second COVID-19 shot. The lawyer also demanded that Raffi issue a public apology on seven local TV networks and seven local newspapers.
The first trial for the lawsuit has been scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 27.
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