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Rocker jailed for sex tapes

2011-01-31 09:24
Bandung - An Indonesian court has jailed one of Southeast Asia's biggest rock stars for more than three years after sex tapes of him with two television celebrities appeared online.

The sentence drew howls of outrage from singer Nazril Ariel's fans in the court and across the Malay-speaking world, while the "#freeariel" hashtag shot to the top list of trending topics on microblogging site Twitter.

The 29-year-old frontman of rock band Peterpan was sentenced to three and a half years in jail for "giving an opportunity for others to spread, produce and prepare a pornographic video", the judges said in their verdict.

Ariel surrendered to police on June 22 last year amid a national scandal over the X-rated videos, which showed him having sex on separate occasions with two female television celebrities, Luna Maya and Cut Tari.

Dubbed "Peterporn" after Ariel's pop band, the scandal pushed President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to warn that the mainly Muslim nation was at risk of being "crushed by the information technology frenzy".

It strengthened calls for stricter monitoring and censorship of web usage, which has taken off among Indonesia's upwardly mobile urban youth.

Earlier in January the Canadian company that makes BlackBerry smartphones started blocking access to pornographic websites in Indonesia in accordance with a deadline set by the communications minister.

The two grainy sex videos, apparently filmed by Ariel with a mobile phone, spread virally through Indonesian and Malaysian websites but the singer has always denied uploading them.

Read more on:    pornography  |  celebrities
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