INDONESIA: Golkar lawmaker faces ax over sex video
National Police to investigate illegal distribution of video aired by local television
Wednesday, December 6, 2006
Yahya Zaini, the senior Golkar Party lawmaker caught on camera cavorting naked with a dangdut singer, looks set to be ousted from the party, with an investigative team recommending his dismissal Monday.
"In a meeting this evening, we issued a recommendation for the central board to dismiss the lawmaker in question from his position as the chairman of Golkar religious affairs department," team member Syamsul Ma'arif told The Jakarta Post.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives disciplinary council is preparing to grill Yahya about his appearance in the video in the next few days.
Yahya was reportedly tendering his resignation through a letter to Golkar leader and Vice President Jusuf Kalla.
It was not immediately clear, however, if Yahya would also lose his seat in the House. The legislator is a member of the home affairs commission.
Golkar lawmakers investigating the video include House Speaker Agung Laksono, senior member Andi Matalatta and secretary general Soemarsono.
The team was formed after the less than one-minute-long cell phone video surfaced, clearly depicting an image of Yahya with a dangdut singer, identified as Maria Eva.
Earlier Monday, the House disciplinary council said that it would summon Yahya and Maria over the video.
Council chairman Slamet Effendy Yusuf said an investigation would be a priority because the video had dealt a severe blow to the House's reputation.
"We consider this case a very serious one and we will act quickly," he said. Council members will meet Thursday to start the investigation.
Slamet, a Golkar lawmaker, said the council would first ascertain that the people in the video were Yahya and Maria.
"We will also find out if the behavior caught on the video was conducted inside wedlock," Slamet said.
He promised the team would act fairly and independently.
Should Golkar recall Yahya from the House, the council would not pursue an investigation, Slamet said.
Also on Monday, Maria held a press conference to tell her side of story.
Dismissing rumors she had been married to Yahya, Maria said she had refused to wed the lawmaker as she was against polygamy.
"He asked me to marry him, but I declined the offer as I don't want to be his second wife," Maria said at the Film Censorship Agency building in South Jakarta.
The singer also said Yahya had paid for the recording of her latest album.
Later in the day, Maria appeared in several evening news programs, apologizing to Golkar over the fallout from the sex video.
Meanwhile, the National Police promised to launch an investigation into the illegal distribution of the video.
Chief of detectives Comr. Gen. Makbul Padmanegara said anyone who passed on the video could be charged under the Criminal Code for illegally disseminating pornographic material.
Date Posted: 12/6/2006