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Alleged sex video of pop star rocks Indonesia

Police launch probe under anti-pornography law as footage shows Ariel with girlfriends

  • AP
  • Published: 00:00 June 15, 2010
  • Gulf News

Jakarta: Indonesians grappled with their first-ever celebrity sex-tape scandal, casting aside social taboos as they swarmed around office computers and mobile phones to watch clips allegedly showing a much-loved pop star with two girlfriends.

The story topped newscasts for a week and dominated chatter on social-networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. But just as controversial was the reaction of officials in the newly democratic nation.

Police threatened to charge the "stars" under a strict anti-pornography law, which could land them in jail for up to 10 years.

Several high schools were raided for mobile phones so the offending clips could be removed. And some ministers said the incident pointed, once again, to moral decay and the need for stricter controls of the internet.

For some, the initial instinct still is to clamp down. When the scandal spurred debate as to whether education about sex — a subject still taboo at home and in the classroom — should be added to the school curriculum, Minister of Education Mohammad Nuh responded with a flat out "no".

"I may be obsolete, but I don't see that sex education in schools is needed," he told reporters. "I believe people will learn about sex naturally." Instead, he recommended authorities search students' mobile phones for copies of the tapes, the rapid dissemination of which "violates the rules and cultural norms in a religious society".

"Whoever is responsible should be punished," Nuh said. The first six-minute video clip appears to show pop singer Nazril Irham, better known as Ariel, in bed with his girlfriend Luna Maya, a top model, actress and, up until the scandal, the face of Lux beauty soap.

The two deny it was them, saying the footage was doctored, but they were called in for questioning by police.

Brigadier Zainuri Lubis, the deputy national police spokesman, said yesterday the probe was ongoing.

If found guilty of violating a tough anti-pornography law, they could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $500,000 (Dh1.84 million), even if there was no indication the intimate, but explicit, sex scenes were ever intended for public viewing.

Gulf News