APSN Banner

Prabowo's campaign to file libel case against Tabloid discrediting him

Jakarta Globe - January 12, 2024

Theressia Silalahi, Jakarta – The campaign team of presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto announced Friday its intention to file a libel case against a tabloid that has been publishing articles discrediting the former army general.

The tabloid, named Achtung, prominently features a headline, "This Is the Abductor of the 1998 Activists," accompanied by a large photograph of Prabowo and composite images of the alleged victims.

According to the campaign's legal team, the tabloid has been distributed in Jakarta and several major cities across West Java, Lampung, Riau, Aceh, and North Sumatra.

"Following careful analysis, we will submit a complaint to the Bareskrim [Criminal Investigation Agency] because we consider this a criminal act unrelated to the election," lawyer Habiburokhman told a press conference in South Jakarta.

The tabloid is accused of publishing malicious content, alleging Prabowo's involvement in the kidnapping of activists to undermine his presidential candidacy, the lawyer added.

Prabowo faced accusations in the past of being involved in the kidnapping of pro-democracy activists in 1997-98 while commanding an Army special unit, with 13 activists still missing.

The lawyer said that Prabowo has never been proven guilty in connection to the kidnappings.

"It's been more than 16 years since the National Commission for Human Rights failed in 2006 to conclude the investigation into the suspected gross human rights violation, while the Attorney General's Office also declared the case incomplete," said Habiburokhman.

The legal team, unable to identify the individuals behind the tabloid, has deferred the matter to the police for investigation, he added.

This incident echoes a pattern seen before, where new tabloids discrediting candidates emerge just before presidential elections. In 2014, a tabloid named "Obor Rakyat" (People's Torch) targeted then-presidential nominee Joko Widodo. At least two journalists responsible for the tabloid were subsequently given prison sentences for libel.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/prabowos-campaign-to-file-libel-case-against-tabloid-discrediting-hi