Lawmaker sex video rocks Indonesia's House
The House's ethics council said that it would launch a probe into the sex video. -Jakarta Post/ANN
The House of Representatives has again been rocked by scandal after a video appeared on the Internet reportedly showing two Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) lawmakers having sex.
The one-minute video was initially available for download on an obscure website, kilikitik.net, before another obscure website, indonesiarayanews.com, published a story about the video featuring screenshots on Tuesday.
The news website lists a "Hazairin Pohan" as its senior advisor and a "George Toissutta" as its editor-in-chief.
It is uncertain if the names are aliases or are legitimately used: Hazairin is a former Indonesian ambassador, while George is a former Army chief of staff.
The news website published an article alleging that the lawmakers in the video were PDI-P politicians Aria Bima, from the Central Java electoral district, and Karolin Margret Natasa, from West Kalimantan.
While Karolin was not available to comment, Aria denied that he was the man in the video.
"I can give assurances that I'm not the individual in the video. I am still monitoring news reports on the scandal," Aria said in a text message sent to reporters on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the House's ethics council said that it would launch a probe into the sex video, although council chairman M. Prakosa said that he would not accept the video as authentic without verification.
"It is only rumor. I only heard about it from the news media. It is not clear yet who two people in the video are. We have to be very careful before drawing any conclusions. This concerns the reputation of certain people," said the PDI-P lawmaker.
Democratic Party lawmaker Roy Suryo, apparently a self-styled expert on information and communications technology, was somewhat less reticent in his assessment.
"I am not 100 per cent sure that the woman is Karolin - but it's hard to deny that the woman is her. I haven't seen the video but I have closely looked at photos of the clips taken from the video. I am almost certain that the woman featured in the video is the lawmaker. As for the man, I have yet to confirm that it is [Aria] because the video does not show enough of him," Roy said.
Roy said that he met with the ethics council's leaders on Tuesday to discuss the video, claiming that the council contacted him soon after he arrived at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport from the Netherlands.
"Based on my observations, I can say that the sex video was intentionally shot by either one of individuals featured in it. I suggest that the council soon begin an investigation to clarify the rumors. We don't have to wait until the end of the House's recess period," he said.
Prakosa denied that the council had consulted with Roy.
"It's not true. We didn't ask him for his help, because lawmakers are now on recess. When and if we need an expert, we will find someone from outside of the House who really knows how to do the job," he said.
Observers have speculated that the video might be part of a deliberate smear campaign directed at Aria, one of the PDI-P's most outspoken politicians and a frequent critic of President Susilo Bambang Yudho-yono's policies.
The PDI-P, for example, was the only party that opposed the government's plan to raise fuel prices.
Meanwhile, others suspect that the video may have more to do with local politics in West Kalimantan: Karolin's father, Cornelis, the incumbent West Kalimantan governor, is seeking reelection this year.
University of Indonesia political analyst Iberamsjah said if the person in the video was not Aria, then the distribution of the video was cooked up to attack Aria for his outspokenness.
"But if the individuals were the PDI-P lawmakers, then both must resign from their positions," he said.
Disgraced lawmakers due to pornography
Yahya Zaini of the Golkar Party resigned from the House following the revelations of a sex video featuring him and singer Maria Eva in 2006.
The police could have investigated the case based on reports from Maria, who claimed she had an abortion from the affair.
There has been no follow-up.
Arifinto, a PKS legislator, was caught on camera watching pornographic videos during a plenary session of the House of Representatives on April 8, 2011.
He eventually resigned although he maintains he accessed the videos unknowingly through email attachments.
Max Moein from the PDI-P was depicted naked with his secretary in pictures circulating on the Internet.
The House ethics council, under the leadership of Max's PDI-P colleague, Gayus Lumbuun, dismissed the legislator after calling him guilty of sexual harassment (Sept. 9, 2008).
House ethics council (BK DPR)
Article 2 House ethics council tasked to investigate and verify the complaint on incidents allegedly committed by members of the House.
Article 17 House ethics council verifies the complaint in closed season.
Article 18 House ethics council shall maintain the confidentiality of information obtained during the verification session.
Article 40 House ethics council's decisions are final and binding.
Aricle 46 House ethics council can dismiss members from leadership positions of House and expel a member from the House.
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