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July 31, 2020, 08.56 PM

JAKARTA, – Police in Indonesia have arrested two individuals for libel against Pertamina President Commissioner Basuki ‘Ahok’ Tjahaja Purnama, in a case that has been ongoing since end-2019.

“We arrested one of the perpetrators, who is identified as KS, in Bali. We also nabbed his accomplice EJ in Medan, North Sumatra,” Jakarta Metropolitan Police spokesman Yusri Yunus on Thursday, July 30.

Also read: Graft Convict in Indonesia's Bank Bali Case Djoko Tjandra Arrested

“Both men and their accomplices are part of a community in North Sumatra that is active on social media apps like Instagram. KS and EJ slandered Ahok on their respective Instagram accounts @ito.kurnia and @an7a_s679."

Ahok’s attorney Ahmad Ramzy confirmed the arrests. “[KS, EJ and their accomplices] committed libel against Ahok and his family on social media. The defendants insulted him and his family through images and words.”

Ramzy declined to give details on the posts that offended the former Jakarta governor, who reported the defendants for libel in May 2020.

Also read: Ex-Indonesian Youth and Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi Gets 7 Years in Jail

Ahok is no stranger to controversy and legal issues, not least because of abrasive, no-nonsense style. He was in charge of Jakarta from 2014 to 2017 until he was beaten by current holder Anies Baswedan in a gubernatorial election fraught with ethnic and sectarian tensions.

A court in Jakarta also sentenced Ahok to two years in jail for blasphemy after he lost the gubernatorial race. President Jokowi revived the 54-year-old’s political career by appointing him President Commissioner of the state oil company in 2019.

(Writers: Muhammad Isa Bustomi | Editor: Jessi Carina)


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