Police to question Jokowi about Obor Rakyat`s case

Police to question Jokowi about Obor Rakyat`s case

Jokowi (ANTARA FOTO/Widodo S. Jusuf)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The police will question President-elect Joko Widodo (Jokowi) as a witness in the defamation case against Obor Rakyat tabloid after Idul Fitri holiday, Jokowis lawyer Teguh Samudera said here on Thursday.

"We have been coordinating with the Criminal Affairs Division police on the schedule for the questioning, which will be likely after Idul Fitri holiday," said Teguh.

Investigators of the National Police on July 3 had named Chief Editor Setyardi Budiono and writer Darmawan Septiyossa of "Obor" Tabloid as suspects in a defamation case filed by an advocacy team of presidential candidate Jokowi.

"They have been named as suspects," Director for General Crimes Brigadier General Herry Prastowo of the National Polices Criminal Investigation Department (Bareskrim) said.

He said investigators had collected two pieces of evidence against the suspects.

The police had also asked for opinions from expert witnesses, including the Press Council (Dewan Pers), to analyze the evidence, he remarked.

The suspects were believed to have violated Law No. 40/1999 of the press for not having a publication license. They could be fined up to Rp100 million.

The brigadier general could not confirm whether the suspects will be charged for defamation and slander in accordance with the Indonesian Criminal Code (KUHP)s Articles 310 and 311.

Previously, presidential hopeful Jokowi said that his team of lawyers had filed a police report over libelous "Obor Rakyat" tabloid.

"The tabloid contains black campaigns. This is a criminal act. That is why our team of lawyers has filed the police report," he said.

The tabloids content has discredited him and his pair, Jusuf Kalla (JK), he said, adding that he could differentiate fair news items from the unfair and libelous ones.

Asked whether the tabloids content had affected his electability rating, the former mayor of Solo admitted that his electability rating had slightly declined.

Obor Rakyat tabloid had issued two editions that had been distributed in a number of Islamic boarding schools and mosques in Central and East Java provinces during the pre-election campaign period that started on June 4, 2014.

The headlines of the tabloids first edition was "Puppet Presidential Candidate" and that of the second edition was "1001 Image Building Masks."

Indonesia had just held its presidential election on July 9, which was contested by only two pairs of presidential and vice presidential candidates--Prabowo Subianto-Hatta Rajasa and Jokowi-JK.

Prabowo Subianto is a retired military general and the founder of the Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra), while his running mate, Hatta Rajasa, is a former coordinating minister for economic affairs and the chairman of the National Mandate Party (PAN).

Jokowi is Jakartas governor and a cadre of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDIP), while his running mate, JK, is a former vice president and a senior politician of the Golkar Party.

The General Election Commission (KPU) on July 22 had named Jokowi and Jusuf Kalla as the winner of the election based on the real count of ballot papers from across Indonesia.

Reported by Yuni Arisandy
Translated by Amie Fenia Arimbi