Sex tape charges for Indonesian star Nazril Irham

By Karishma Vaswani
BBC News, Jakarta

Image caption,
Nazril Irham (r) and Luna Maya are both named in the scandal

One of Indonesia's top celebrities has been charged under an anti-pornography law for his alleged role in sex videos which have appeared on the internet.

Pop star Nazril "Ariel" Irham and two other celebrities, TV presenter Luna Maya and soapstar Cut Tari, have denied involvement in the sex tapes.

The scandal has angered many in Muslim-dominated Indonesia.

Some conservative Islamic groups have called for the celebrities to be punished.

Zainuri Lubis, deputy spokesman of the National Police, told the BBC that Ariel had been charged with the making and distribution of the sex tapes under the controversial anti-pornography law.

He is the first high-profile person to be charged under the law, which came into effect in 2008 despite strong opposition from the public and members of government.

The law has been criticised for being too vague and for its harsh penalties.

Ariel's charge carries with it a maximum sentence of 12 years and a fine of more than $600,000 (£403,000).

He was arrested earlier this week and photos of him behind bars have been spread online by his fans.

Local reports have quoted Indonesian police saying they have plans to detain the two female celebrities who are also allegedly featured in the sex tapes for their own protection.

The celebrity sex scandal has annoyed many conservative Indonesians who see it as an example of deteriorating morals in the country.

Earlier this week, hundreds of members of the hard-line Muslim group Hizbut Tahrir protested against the celebrities, calling for them to be publicly punished.

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