31 Jan 2011

Indonesia jails pop star for internet sex videos

9:03 pm on 31 January 2011

A court in Indonesia has sentenced one of southeast Asia's best known pop stars to three-and-a-half years' jail for making and distributing sex videos on the internet.

The tapes of Nazril Ilham, known as Ariel, and two other celebrities were made public in June last year.

The 29-year-old is the first celebrity to be charged under Indonesia's strict anti-pornography law that came into effect in 2008, the BBC reports.

Ariel denied distributing the videos, saying they had been stolen. He had made three sex videos featuring him and separately, two female celebrities.

The singer was found guilty in Bandung court in West Java of "giving an opportunity for others to spread, produce and prepare a pornographic video", according to the verdict.

Judge Singgih Budi Prakoso told Ariel that, as a public figure, he should be aware that fans might imitate his behaviour and he had done nothing to prevent the wide distribution of the videos.

The BBC reports Ariel was speechless on hearing the verdict, and his teenage fans who filled the court room broke down in tears.

The singer's lawyer said he would appeal against the sentence.

Outside the court, hundreds of protesters had gathered calling for a harsher punishment.