Bayu Marhaenjati, Jakarta – Munarman, the secretary general of hardline Muslim group Islamic Defenders Front, or FPI, underwent a lengthy questioning at the Jakarta Police headquarters on Wednesday after a supporter of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo claimed he was kidnapped and tortured inside a mosque ten days ago.
"I was asked if I knew about the incident at the Al Falah mosque, and I said I didn't," Munarman told reporters after an 11-hour interrogation that ended at around 10.30 p.m.
Police have named 13 suspects after Ninoy Karundeng said he was kidnapped and then tortured inside a mosque in Pejompongan, Central Jakarta, on Sept. 30.
The man, who openly shows his support for Jokowi on his social media posts, was captured by a mob after an anti-government rally that turned violent around the House of Representatives compound nearby.
Munarman was summoned as a witness by the police after one of the suspects, identified only by his initial S., admitted to having asked for legal advice from him. Munarman is also a licensed lawyer.
The suspect was allegedly told by Munarman to delete the CCTV footage from the mosque. However, Munarman denied the allegation, saying he only wanted to see the footage for himself in his capacity as a lawyer.
"I asked to see the CCTV footage because, as a lawyer, I need to be able to assess the situation in detail to prepare the necessary legal action," Munarman said.
He also said that in the end he did not manage to get hold of the footage. The "legal consultation" with the suspect occurred two days after the incident, Munarman said.
His attorney, Samsul Bahri, said his client was asked 20 questions during the police interrogation. "As a law-abiding citizen, [Munarman] has answered the police summons and delivered his testimony by answering 20 questions," Samsul.
Earlier on Monday, Ninoy appeared at the Jakarta Police headquarters to give his own testimony that he was beaten by dozens of people during the night of Sept. 30 and the early morning of Oct. 1.
A person among the mob, who was called "Habib" by the others, even threatened to kill him before the dawn prayer and dump his body at the demonstration site.
"He said my time was short and that soon my head would be smashed into pieces. He also interrogated me and punched me," Ninoy said.
On Sept. 30, riots erupted in several places in Jakarta, most notably around the House compound following a week-long rally protesting controversial revisions to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) Law.
Authorities said they had found evidence that the student rallies against the controversial law had been taken over by a violent mob who sought to incite riots and foil the Oct. 20 presidential inauguration.