One of Indonesia's best-known pop stars has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years behind bars after sex tapes featuring his celebrity girlfriends found their way to the internet, riveting and dividing this predominantly Muslim nation.
Liberals said the embarrassment suffered by Nazril "Ariel" Irham - who insists the videos were not intended for public viewing - was punishment enough. But hard-liners were outraged, saying the singer was contributing to the country's moral decline.
Hundreds charged the gates of the courthouse in the city of Bandung after the verdict was read out, yelling "Too light! Too light," as he sped off in an armoured police car. Police fired warning shots to break up a scuffle between his supporters and critics.
Ariel, lead singer of the country's most popular band, Peterpan, was the first celebrity to be charged under Indonesia's strict anti-pornography law, which came into effect in 2008 despite strong opposition from the public and members of government.
It is seen by many as vaguely worded and as carrying overly harsh penalties.
Ariel insists the tapes were stolen from his house and posted online without his knowledge, but presiding Judge Singgih Budi Prakoso said the pop star did nothing to prevent them from spreading online.
He sentenced him to three-and-a-half years years in jail - well short of the maximum 12 years - and fined him £15,000.
"As a public figure, the defendant should be aware that fans might imitate his behaviour," said Judge Prakoso, adding that the frontman for Peterpan - also popular in neighbouring Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei - did not show remorse.
His supporters were devastated. "He's just a victim," said Roslawati, 30, as tears streamed from his eyes. "He didn't post that video."
Indonesia, a secular country of 237 million people, has more Muslims than any other country in the world. Though most are moderate, analysts suggest a small extremist fringe has become more vocal in recent years.
Copyright © 2011 The Press Association. All rights reserved.
23 November 2010
Here's the video...
Sexy Indo Hunk On Trial for Sex Video
JAKARTA, INDONESIA (BNO NEWS) -- Indonesian pop star Nasriel Irham on Monday appeared in court after two homemade sex tapes released on various websites resulted in him being charged under Indonesia's 2008 Anti-Pornography Law.
Irham, 29, who is also known as Ariel, is suspected of appearing in two separate homemade sex tapes involving his current girlfriend, TV presenter Luna Maya, 27, who accompanied Irham to court, and actress Cut Tari, 33, known for her roles in Indonesian soap operas.
All three have denied accusations, but only Irham - who has been in custody since surrendering to police on June 22 - is facing charges, which include distribution of pornography.
Irham, frontman for Indonesian music group "Peterpan," has been dubbed by various media outlets as "Peterporn," as the scandal has stirred Indonesians nationwide.
While the hard-line Islamic People's Forum demand harsh punishment against Irham, several hundred fans gathered outside the court, screaming in support of his liberation.
If convicted, Irham could be facing a prison term of up to 12 years and a fine of up to Rr 6 billion ($672,000).
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