Lia named suspect; followers freed

Jakarta Police charged Lia Eden on Friday with blasphemy and released all of the God’s Kingdom of Eden followers from detention late on Thursday.

Chief of general crimes at city police Sr. Comr. Moh. Jaelani said all of Lia’s followers, who were detained on Wednesday, had been released as they were just witnesses in the case.

“We are still questioning Lia’s main follower, identified as Abdul Rachman, as we need much more information from him. If we find that he plays a big role in the sect then we can name him a suspect also,” he told The Jakarta Post.

Lia, who claims to be the Holy Spirit as well as God’s messenger Gabriel, and her followers were removed from their premises on Jl. Mahoni in Bungur, Senen, Central Jakarta, and taken to city police headquarters after thousands of local residents surrounded their premises.

After almost 24 hours in detention, Lia, whose previous name was Lia Aminuddin, was declared a suspect.

Police subsequently announced that members of the sect could not return to their premises as residents and the local administration had decided that they had disrupted the neighborhood.

Jaelani said Lia had been charged under Article 156a of the Criminal Code on blasphemy, which carries a maximum punishment of five years in jail.

“We have the right to detain her as she could be imprisoned for five years. We will soon complete her case file and submit it to the prosecutor’s office,” he said.

By law, police may detain a suspect of a crime that is punishable by five years or more of imprisonment.

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The Jakarta Post, Indonesia
Dec. 31, 2005

Religion News Blog posted this on Saturday December 31, 2005.
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