World

Militant cleric now being 
probed for online sex chats

A day after hardliner cleric Habib Rizieq Shihab (right) was named a suspect for insulting the state ideology and founding president Sukarno, Indonesian police are now investigating fresh allegations over sex chats involving him.

INTIMATE

Police have received a report from a group of students about a series of photos and videos featuring intimate exchanges purportedly between the chairman of the militant group, Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), and a woman named Firza Husein, Jakarta police spokesman Argo Yuwono told The Straits Times yesterday.

The screenshots of the sexually explicit WhatsApp conversations allegedly between them and nude photos of a woman resembling Firza, which emerged on Sunday, have gone viral on social media.

"Investigators are now examining the content and materials. The experts will first have to prove whether the materials and exchanges are fake or real," Colonel Argo said.

Those involved could be charged with violating anti-pornography as well as Information and Electronic Transactions laws, he added.

Yesterday, West Java police named Mr Rizieq a suspect for defaming both the Pancasila, the national ideology which promotes diversity and democracy, and Mr Sukarno.

The case is centred around a two-minute video showing the 51-year-old telling an audience that Mr Sukarno had written an earlier version of Pancasila that did not prioritise belief in God.

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