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Indonesian cleric jailed for fake Covid status

An Indonesian court has sentenced a controversial cleric to four years in jail for not supporting the government's efforts to handle the Covid-19 pandemic and lying on his positive status.

Updated Jun 25, 2021 04:33 AM

Indonesian cleric jailed for fake Covid status

Cleric Muhammad Rizieq Shihab, a leader of the hard-line group Islamic Defenders Front that was banned in 2020 by the Indonesian government, was proven to have committed a crime of fake notification, Khadwanto, a judge at the East Jakarta district court, said on Thursday.

This verdict is lower than the prosecutor's demand of six years in prison.

The case began when Shihab, who was under medical treatment at the Ummi hospital in Bogor, West Java province, refused a swab test.

In a video he sent to a television station, Shihab said he was in good and healthy condition, though the results of the antigen swab test concluded that he was Covid positive.

The fake notification, the judge added, could have a bigger impact as he is a religious figure with many followers.

The court also sentenced the director of the Ummi hospital Andi Tatat, and Shihab's son-in-law Hanif Alatas, to one year in prison each for covering up his lie.

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