INDONESIA: Sex scandal singer gets once-over

Singer involved in sex scandal tape with party legislator refuses to answer reporters' questions

The Jakarta Post
Tuesday, December 12, 2006

By Prodita Sabarini

Jakarta --- The Jakarta Police questioned dangdut singer Maria Eva for more than seven hours Monday over a leaked sex tape, in which she features with lawmaker Yahya Zaini.

Accompanied by two unidentified lawyers from Ruhut Sitompul's law firm, she arrived at police headquarters at around 11:30 a.m.

Ruhut arrived some time later.

Stepping out of a black Toyota Innova van, Maria, who was wearing a yellow-and-peach plaid blouse, was quickly surrounded by photographers and journalists but barely acknowledged their presence, refusing to answer questions.

Ruhut said police had summoned her for questioning in relation to the distribution of pornographic material.

A cell-phone video of Maria and her partner in the tape, ex-Golkar party member Yahya Zaini, came to the surface this month, creating the country's first real political sex scandal.

Ruhut said Maria would also be questioned over her claim she had an abortion when she was two months' pregnant with Yahya's child.

"She had an abortion," he said, indicating he knew when and where it took place but was not at liberty to say.

Later in the afternoon, the lawyer of Yahya's family, Hotman Paris Hutapea, arrived at city police headquarters.

He said he had evidence that Maria circulated the video herself, demanding she be named a suspect for the offense.

He carried with him a statement from production house Media Kreasi Visitama art director Ine Wirayanti, saying that Maria suggested the production house market the sex tape when she auditioned for a part there.

Ine said they rejected the idea.

Jakarta Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Ketut Untung Yoga Ana said Ine's statement was an important lead in the case.

"However we need enough facts and evidence before naming her a suspect," he said.

Under Article 282 of the Criminal Code, spreading pornographic material is punishable with a maximum sentence of 18 months in prison.