West Java Police drops Pancasila insult case against Rizieq Shihab

FPI founder Rizieq Shihab. Illustration: @dpp_fpi / Instagram
FPI founder Rizieq Shihab. Illustration: @dpp_fpi / Instagram

Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab might be one step closer to returning to Indonesia after the West Java Police dropped the charges against him for insulting the Pancasila state ideology.

Sugito Atmo Prawiro, one of Rizieq’s lawyers, said West Java Police investigators ceased investigation into the case after finding no criminal intent by Rizieq in the case.

“Because there was no [criminal] element after [the West Java Police] interviewed witnesses and experts, the Crime Investigation Department through the West Java Police issued an SP3 (investigation termination warrant),” Sugito said today, as quoted by Detik.

Sugito added that the SP3 was issued recently after Rizieq, through his legal representatives, filed for a pretrial to abolish Rizeq’s criminal suspect status in the Pancasila insult case.

Separately, the National Police’s Crime Investigation Department confirmed that Rizieq’s Pancasila insult charges were dropped, but was not able to give details as to why for the time being.

In January 2017, the West Java Police named Rizieq a suspect in the desecration of a state emblem based on statements Rizieq had made about two years prior during a sermon in West Java in which he supposedly said, “In Sukarno’s Pancasila, God is located in the ass, whereas in the Jakarta charter of Pancasila, God is in the head.” He was reported to the police by Sukarno’s daughter, Sukmawati Soekarnoputri, who herself had to deal with religious blasphemy accusations over a controversial poem recently.

Rizieq is currently in Saudi Arabia, where he has been hiding from the Indonesian police for over a year after being named a suspect in a high profile, highly ironic pornography case. Though he has teased his potential return to Indonesia on numerous occasions, he has so far disappointed many of his followers as he remains steadfast in his refusal to return while he’s a criminal suspect. In one instance after deciding against his homecoming, he said, “it’s better than I’m called a coward who’s running away, instead of gallantly returning to Indonesia and then being arrested.”

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