President Reports ousted MP to Police for libel

JAKARTA ~ President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has reported ousted deputy parliament chairman Zainal Maarif to the police for libel.

Under the Indonesian system, police will process the report and if they find enough initial evidence will formally investigate the case with a view to preparing documents necessary for an indictment in court.

“I came myself because I am here more in my private capacity as an Indonesian citizen and not as a president,” Yudhoyono told journalists shortly after filing his report against Maarif at Jakarta Police headquarters on Sunday.

Yudhoyono, who was accompanied by his wife Kristiani, filed his complaint to a police officer in charge of receiving complaints from the public, although Jakarta Police chief Adang Firman was also present.

The president said he was “a victim of libel and untrue reports.”

Yudhoyono gave approval to Maarif’s party, the Reform Star Party, to pull him from parliament on July 26.

Maarif has since made accusations against the head of state and said he would provide evidence this week.

Maarif was withdrawn by his party after he openly aired disagreement with the party leadership in December. The party leadership also accused him of polygamy.

Yudhoyono said he reported the ousted lawmaker to set an example for libel victims not to hesitate to report cases to the police.

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