Jail Time Sought for Playboy Editor

JAKARTA ~ Prosecutors called this week for a two-year prison sentence for the editor of the Indonesian version of Playboy at his trial for publishing “indecent” material.

“The accused upset society and can damage the country’s morals,” prosecutor Resmi Muchtar told the court, as hundreds of people protesting over the adult magazine rallied outside and police stood by with water cannons.

Erwin Arnada, 42, is accused of publishing indecent material in the world’s most populous Muslim nation in his role as editor-in-chief of the magazine’s Indonesian version.

The charge carries up to 32 months in jail.

“Playboy Indonesia does not publish photographs of naked (people) or other illegal matters,” Arnada said after Tuesday’s hearing, adding that the trial process should be respected.

Playboy’s April debut issue last year featured several models on its cover and inside pages, showing ample cleavage and lengthy legs but little else.

Racier men’s magazines are available in the country.

But one of the protesters outside court, hardline Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, said “a two-year jail sentence is not at par for the damage he caused by the publishing of the pornographic magazine.”

The case was adjourned until March 22, when the defense will make its plea.

Playboy moved its Indonesian headquarters to Bali after protests by Muslim hardliners and attacks on its offices in Jakarta.

Most Indonesians practice a tolerant form of Islam, but religious leaders have complained that Playboy is a morally corrupting influence.

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