Indonesia Rock Star on Trial over Web Sex Videos

Manila Bulletin, November 22, 2010 | Go to article overview

Indonesia Rock Star on Trial over Web Sex Videos


BANDUNG, Indonesia (AFP) - An Indonesian rock star went on trial Monday charged with distributing two homemade sex videos on the Internet, in a case that has shocked and fascinated the country in equal measure.Nazril Ariel, 29, appeared at the closed-door trial in Bandung district court, West Java province, facing criminal charges including those filed under a 2008 anti-pornography law, prosecutor Rusmanto told reporters.More than 500 police were on hand to ensure security, while adoring Ariel fans -- mostly young women -- mixed with radical Islamists outside the court, illustrating the yawning cultural divide the case has opened in Indonesia."There are so many cases like this, why are they freed and not Ariel? Is it because he's famous? We want justice," 22-year-old waitress Ruri Astari told AFP, as around 20 fans sang Ariel's hits and carried "Free Ariel" banners.Islamic hardliner Hirman Firdaus said the hard-living rock'n'roll singer was a threat to society and deserved the maximum punishment."I want him to be severely punished. This is immoral," he said.If convicted Ariel could face 12 years in jail and fines of up to six billion rupiah (672,000 dollars) for offences including distributing pornography on the Internet."Ariel helped to provide facilities to distribute the pornographic videos," Rusmanto said.The singer looked relaxed in a grey shirt and black trousers as he spoke to reporters from behind bars in the court lockup.

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