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Indonesian Court to Deliver Verdict on Islamic Firebrand Rizieq Shihab

May 27, 2021, 07.19 AM

JAKARTA, – The East Jakarta State Court is set to deliver its ruling on firebrand cleric Rizieq Shihab, two months after prosecutors put the former head of the outlawed Islamic Defenders Front [FPI] vigilante organization on trial for multiple violations of health protocols.

“The court will read its verdict [against Rizieq Shihab] for defying health protocols by holding mass gatherings in Megamendung, West Java and Petamburan, Central Jakarta in November 2020,” said East Jakarta State Court [PN Jakarta] spokesman Alex Adam Faisal on Wednesday.

Also read: Jakarta Metropolitan Police Arrest FPI Chief Rizieq Shihab

The verdict comes a week after Rizieq’s attorneys, as well as prosecutors, made their final arguments on Thursday, May 20. The latter urged the judges “to disregard Rizieq’s closing arguments,” and that they “provided the most valid case [against Rizieq].”

The prosecutors called on the court to sentence Rizieq to ten months in jail and a Rp. 50 million [$3,502.27] fine for violating health protocols in Petamburan, including hosting his daughter’s marriage.

They also demanded another ten months in jail and a Rp. 50 million for holding a mass rally in Megamendung, as he was visiting a pesantren or religious school run by the FPI.

Also read: Breaking News: Indonesia Arrests Ex-Hardline Group Islamic Defenders Front Secretary-General 

The prosecutors also urged the court to revoke Rizieq’s right “to become a member of any organization or to lead one for a three-year period.”

The rallies occurred, days after Rizieq returned to Indonesia in November 2020 after four years of exile in Saudi Arabia. His followers also damaged Soekarno-Hatta International Airport as they enthusiastically welcomed him home.

Rizieq’s return from four years of exile in Saudi Arabia triggered a standoff with the authorities , which left six FPI members dead after they took on the police at a toll road outside Jakarta.

The tensions also culminated with the government’s outlawing of the FPI as a criminal organization at the end of 2020.

(Writer: Nirmala Maulana Achmad | Editor: Egidius Patnistik)



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