Rizieq Shihab’s pornography case reopened on court order

Islamic Defenders Front Rizieq Shihab. Screenshot: @derrysulaiman / Instagram
Islamic Defenders Front Rizieq Shihab. Screenshot: @derrysulaiman / Instagram

Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab is facing yet another criminal charge with the reopening of an old and controversial pornography case.

The South Jakarta District Court yesterday lifted the investigation termination warrant (SP3) for the case after the plaintiff, a group called the Anti-Pornography Students Alliance, filed for a pretrial challenging the warrant.

“Praise God, there is still justice for us. After this pretrial ruling we ask that all involved carry out their mandates, especially the Jakarta Metro Police,” Aby Febriyanto Dunggio, a legal representative of the group, said in a written statement yesterday.

The Jakarta Metro Police says it will officially reopen the case after it receives the pretrial ruling documents from the court.

In January 2017, a website titled “Baladacintarizieq” (Rizieq’s tale of love) appeared online featuring what was alleged to be leaked information, including WhatsApp chat logs, an audio recording and nude photos of a woman named Firza Hussein, detailing an adulterous affair between her and the FPI leader.

The pair were reported to the police by the Anti-Pornography Students Alliance over possible violation of Indonesia’s vague anti-pornography law. Rizieq fled the country in April 2017 and went into exile in Saudi Arabia. Both Rizieq and Firza were named suspects that year, but police officially closed the case in 2018, citing lack of evidence.

Rizieq returned to Indonesia in November 2020, where he was immediately greeted by thousands of his followers upon his arrival. In December, the firebrand cleric was charged with incitement to commit crime over the mass gatherings held in his honor, which violated the health quarantine law. Rizieq may face up to six years in prison and is currently in police custody.

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