Head of the Indonesian Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) Rizieq Shihab is searched by police in Cilacap, Central Java, on January 26, 2016, before the trial of Indonesian cleric Abu Bakar Bashir (unseen). (AFP Photo/Muhammad Azka)

As the police plan to release an arrest warrant to get the FPI leader, a legion of lawyers is said to be prepared to defend him.

Adelia Anjani Putri   30 May 2017 11:07

After Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) leader Rizieq Shihab was named a suspect on a pornography case yesterday, his supporters started to launch a fight to defend the firebrand cleric.

Rizieq was named a suspect after an investigation held on Monday, where investigators decided that they had enough evidence to change his status from witness to suspect.

Rizieq was never questioned for the case as he failed to appear for questioning twice.

“Investigators has found enough evidence, and from the investigation we changed his status to a suspect,” Jakarta Police Spokesperson Sr. Commr. Argo Yuwono said yesterday. “There are the chats, a cellphone and others.”

Argo added that the investigators will release an arrest warrant today. They will also work together with National Police’s International Division to look for Rizieq as he was last known to be staying in Saudi Arabia.

The division will then release a red notice for Rizieq so Interpol can help them to locate Rizieq.

Not going down without a fight

One of Rizieq’s lawyers, Kapitra Ampera, said that Rizieq did not receive the news well.

“He’s very emotional and he wants to return as soon as possible,” Kapitra said yesterday to reporters in Tebet. “Let him get closer to God (in Saudi Arabia) so he’ll get new energy and clarity to act once he’s back home.”

But how soon is ‘as soon as possible’?

Kapitra did not give an exact date. “Hopefully, he’ll be here by 1 Syawal”, he said.

Syawal is the Eid day, which according to the calendar falls on June 25.

In the meantime, Rizieq’s legal team will try to fight the police on his status.

“Starting this second, we’re on war. We’ll use legal instruments, we’ll fight constitutionally, we’ll file judicial review, we’ll fight the naming as suspect, we’ll file the case to the court, we’ll sue them (the police) to international institutions,” Kapitra said.

To start it off, the legal team will file a pretrial against the status. And they do not play around.

“Now we have listed 726 lawyers to defend him — cleric lawyers and activists,” he said. “We also have international lawyers from London waiting. Four of them.”

Whether the legal team really consists of that many lawyers, we have yet to be able to confirm.

Kapitra also promises that Riziq’s supporters will file reports to the police to urge them to find whoever upload the sex-chats and naked pictures of alleged Rizieq's mistress, Firza Husein.

“Tomorrow, around 1,000 people, will file police reports. In Aceh, Padang, everywhere. We have to start finding who’s behind the (chats) distribution as it is a criminal act. But why don't the police chase this person?” he said.

And when asked whether FPI or GNPF MUI will do their favorite thing — gathering thousands of people to rally for their cause — Kapitra would not promise anything.

“It’s Ramadan and we should focus on praying and doing good deeds, but I can't guarantee anything. People’s reaction is similar to Rizieq’s reaction: discontented, angry and sad. But it’s the fasting month, we don't want to disturb it,” he said.

Asking for help from the Big Guy

Meanwhile, Rizieq’s other lawyer, Eggi Sudjana, decided to fight for Rizieq using a different approach.

“With respect, we ask (President) Jokowi to order the National Police Chief to stop the case or release an order to freeze the investigation,” Eggi said yesterday in Petamburan.

President Jokowi has yet to respond to the appeal, but there's a big chance that he would not do anything as he once promised that he will not interfere with any ongoing legal process.

News FPI

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