TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Ratna Sarumpaet, charged with spreading a fabricated story about her assault, denied allegations that she was the one who asked Gerindra Party chairman Prabowo Subianto to hold a press conference about it on October 2.
“No, no,” she shook her head when walking towards the Jakarta Police's Crime Department building on Monday, October 22.
Ratna said she did not know who initiated the press conference, but asserted that it wasn't her. "It wasn't me," she said.
Nanik S. Deyang, the deputy campaign manager of the Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Uno pair, has given a police statement about Ratna's lies. "Including the fact that Ratna tried very hard to convince everyone about the assault," Nanik's lawyer Marthadinata told Tempo on Wendesday last week, October 17.
Marthadinata said that according to his client, Ratna Sarumpaet was the person who initiated the press conference held by Prabowo. There was a meeting between Ratna and Prabowo on October 2, which was also attended by Fadli Zon, Amien Rais, dan Said Iqbal.
According to Marthadinata, Nanik said that during the meeting Ratna told everyone that she was assaulted, and even asked Prabowo to hold a press conference to tell the incident.
“She said that it was to prevent others from being afraid," Marthadinata remarked. It was due to the request that Prabowo then held the press conference.
Marthadinata said that Nanik believes the meeting was part of the series of lies Ratna had uttered.
Ratna claimed that she was assaulted on Sep. 21 in Bandung. Her story went viral after photos of her swollen and bruised face were posted onto the internet.
She then admitted that the assault never took place, and the bruises on her face were the effect of a cosmetics surgery. She apologized and claimed that she told the lie to hide the fact that she had a cosmetics procedure from her family.
Ratna Sarumpaet has been named a suspect for violating the Criminal Code's article 14, and article 45 of the Information and Electronics Transaction Law. She was arrested at the Soekarno-Hatta Airport waiting to board a flight to Santiago, Chile.