Jakarta – Hary Tanoesoedibjo, an Indonesian media mogul and chairman of the Indonesian Unity Party, or Perindo, filed a police report on Tuesday (25/04) against an article written by senior investigative journalist Allan Nairn which mentions Hary as one of the main supporters in an alleged treason plot against President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's administration.
Nairn's story alleged that Hary provided funds to the plotters and supported them by skewing the reporting of the group to their advantage on his MNC Group TV station, newspaper and online news outlets.
Perindo's defense team leader Christophorus Taufik said Nairn's piece, translated and published in an abridged form by local online media Tirto.id, was a hoax. "The article is slander," Christophorus said at the Jakarta Police headquarters in South Jakarta on Tuesday.
"It must have been written by someone had just woken up from his dream of being a spy. It's delusional. But we're not taking it lightly, this has gone too far as a joke," the lawyer added.
The report was filed to the police's special crime investigation unit, accusing Nairn of violating Article 310 of the Criminal Code on slander through electronic media and Article 311 on Information and Electronic Transactions (ITE) – Indonesia's draconian internet law.
Jakarta Police spokesman Chief Comr. Raden Prabowo Argo Yuwono said the report has been received and the police have already initiated a preliminary investigation. "We've got the report. It's under investigation," Argo said.
Allan Nairn is an award-winning US investigative journalist who has had several run-ins with the Indonesian military over his coverage of its brutal occupation of East Timor.
His article, originally titled "Trump's Indonesian Allies in Bed With Isis-backed Militia Seeking to Oust Elected President," detailed an alleged plot by former and current members of the military, as well as various political elites and prominent businessmen to use the protests against Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama to oust Jokowi's administration.