Luna Maya and Cut Tari remain suspects in 8-year-old Ariel sex tape case after court denies pretrial motion

R: Luna Maya (Photo: @lunamaya / Instagram) L: Cut Tari (Photo: @cuttaryofficial / Instagram)
R: Luna Maya (Photo: @lunamaya / Instagram) L: Cut Tari (Photo: @cuttaryofficial / Instagram)

The infamous 2010 pornography case involving the leaked sex tapes of pop star Nazril Irham (better known as Ariel) was thrust back into the spotlight recently after a legal organization submitted a pre-trial motion to finally revoke the 8-year-old criminal suspect statuses of the two women who also appeared in the illicit videos.

At the conclusion of the pre-trial motion hearing this morning in the South Jakarta District Court, the judge ruled that the court did not have the authority to revoke the suspect status of celebrities Luna Maya and Cut Tari, who officially remain suspects in the 2010 pornography case.

“The South Jakarta District Court has no legal authority to grant the termination of the investigation into Cut Tari Aminah Anasya binti Joeransyah M. and Luna Maya Sugeng. This matter is not a pre-trial object, and so this application is declared unacceptable,” Judge Florenssani Susanti said before reading the verdict.

Kurniawan Adi Nugroho, the deputy chairman of the Indonesian Law Enforcement and Oversight Institute (LP3HI), said he suspected the judge would reject his organization’s motion because the police had never issued their own official SP3 letters terminating the investigations.

“I suspected that might happen because (police have not yet issued an SP3 for the investigation) and that would be a consideration in the decision,” Kurniawan said as quoted by Republika.

When questioned why police had not issued an SP3 for Luna Maya or Cut Tari in all of these years, a National Police spokesperson insisted yesterday that their 8-year-old cases had not been left “hanging” and they were both still “in process”.

Kurniawan said it was now up to the police to either issue the SP3s to formally stop their investigation against the two women or begin actively investigating the case again as it was intolerable to force people to live with that kind of legal uncertainty.

Before this morning’s hearing, Kurniawan had told CNN Indonesia that both women were the victims of the actions of other people and never should have been named suspects in the first place. He said his group’s pretrial motion would teach police not to act arbitrarily in carrying out their duties as well as give legal certainty to Luna Maya and Cut Tari.

LP3HI said they had no personal affiliation with either Luna Maya or Cut Tari and had not been asked to submit the motion by either of them.

Neither woman has yet to make a statement following the pre-trial motion’s dismissal, but one of Luna Maya’s celebrity friends, Melaney Ricardo, said yesterday that Luna was upset due to the all the recent news stories about the old case and worried that it could hurt her career, which she managed to resuscitate after being ostracized by her industry in the wake of the 2010 scandal.

Ariel’s leaked sex tape scandal caused a massive moral panic in Indonesia, ultimately leading to the musician becoming the first charged under Indonesia’s then recently passed pornography law (though he was eventually convicted under UU ITE, the Law on Electronic Transactions and Information) and getting  sentenced to 3.5 years in jail.

Both Luna Maya and Cut Tari were named suspects by the police in the pornography case but were never brought to trial following Ariel’s conviction.

The chances that the police would restart the investigation now seems extremely unlikely, but their insistence that the two women’s suspect status was still “in process” and not an oversight may make it awkward for them to now find a justification to formally issue an SP3. Hopefully they’ll find a way to move on from the case, just like the rest of the country.

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