Police deny wiretapping ex-president Yudhoyono

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian Police have denied involvement in the alleged tapping of former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, following the latters statement that urged the police to investigate the issue.

"The police did not do that (tapping)," Deputy Chief of the Indonesian Police Commissioner General Syafruddin stated here, Thursday.

Syafruddin made the remark in response to Yudhoyonos televised statement on Wednesday, calling on the police to investigate suspected tapping on him, as disclosed by the lawyers of Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (Ahok).

During Ahoks trial on alleged religious blasphemy, his lawyer said they have evidence of the conversations between Yudhoyono and chief of the Indonesian Ulemas Council KH Maruf Amin, who stood as a witness during Tuesdays trial.

"Tapping could not be done recklessly. Even in the case of terrorists and drug kingpins, we need a legal basis to wiretap them," Syafruddin added.

Speaking in connection with the polices subsequent move on the case, Syafruddin revealed he would seek further information from the Jakarta police chief.

"I will check this with the Jakarta Police chief and also with the chief of the police criminal investigation unit. I do not have further information on the issue," he remarked.

Yudhoyono noted in his statement that the authority would not require him to file a lawsuit to conduct an investigation, as the law has clearly stipulated the rules of tapping.

"I am not sure yet whether I was being tapped. However, if this were to be true, we have a law on electronic information and transaction. Article 31 of the law stipulates that anyone, without any rights, who wiretaps others through electronic devices, would face a maximum jail sentence of 10 years or would have to pay a fine of Rp800 million," the ex-president said.

He further stated that the "ball" was not in Amins, Ahoks, or his hand.

"The ball is not in my hand but in the polices hand. If wiretapping was conducted by the state institution, then it is the problem of (President) Jokowi," Yudhoyono added.(*)

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