Indonesia military threatens news site after coup story

AP News
Posted: Apr 21, 2017 7:34 AM

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia's military said on Friday it was reporting an online news site to the police after it wrote about an Intercept story alleging current and retired generals plotted to overthrow President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo.

The Intercept, co-founded by Glenn Greenwald, a journalist known for his stories about the U.S. National Security Agency's mass surveillance, published the coup article by freelance journalist Allan Nairn earlier this week.

Citing intelligence documents, unnamed generals and other figures, it alleges that huge protests in Jakarta against the capital's minority Christian governor were a front for a movement to unseat Jokowi.

Separately, amid protests in December and March, Indonesian police arrested a total of 16 people for suspected treason including a former general and Islamic radicals.

The military's statement said an account of the Intercept story published by the Indonesian site Tirto was either "not true" or a "hoax."

It said it was reporting Tirto so it could be "investigated and proceeded against in line with existing laws."

On its website, Tirto said it had permission from Nairn and Intercept to translate the article and had interviewed Nairn in detail about his reporting.

Decades of army rule in Indonesia ended in 1998 with the ouster of late dictator Suharto during mass protests sparked by an economic crisis. The military, however, remains one of the Muslim majority country's most powerful and respected institutions.