Jilted PKS Founder Wants Day In Court

The Jakarta Globe

Prosperous Justice Party co-founder Yusuf Supendi said on Monday that he was ready to take the party’s leaders to court over his controversial dismissal.

In a case that has become another distraction for a party that has recently reeled from one controversy to another, Yusuf has refused to accept his dismissal, saying he had never received official notification.

Yusuf helped establish the Justice Party in 1998, which later became the PKS.

“On November 28, 2010, four people from the PKS, including [deputy chairman] Triwisaksana, visited me at 8:20 p.m. to show me the dismissal letter, dated October 29, 2009, and addressed to me,” Yusuf said.

But he said he had never received a copy of the letter.

He also said he did not read the letter in 2010 because it was not given to him according to party guidelines.

“I do not know why they wanted to kick me out, because I did not read the letter,” he said. “But I think it is because I am too critical of the consultative body.”

Dani Saliswijaya, Yusuf’s lawyer, said they would take the case to court after an attempt to meet party leaders was rebuffed.

He said Yusuf would sue 11 PKS leaders, including Hilmi Aminuddin, the head of the PKS’s consultative body; Surahman Hidayat, the head of the PKS’s Shariah Council; party president Luthfi Hasan Ishaq; Anis Matta, PKS secretary general; Communication Minister Tifatul Sembiring; and Social Affairs Minister Salim Segaf.

Dani said the suit would be filed with the South Jakarta District Court on Thursday and that Yusuf would seek Rp 37 billion ($4.3 million) in compensation.

The lawyer added that four nongovernmental organizations were also planning to report the PKS to the Constitutional Court demanding its dissolution, but he did not say on what grounds.

“I do not want to name who they are yet. But they have evidence to report,” he said.

He added that Yusuf would bring a separate complaint to the Constitutional Court.

Yusuf said the PKS had strayed from its original mission. “Instead of preaching to spread values, the PKS now preaches to look for positions in the House,” he said.

Mustafa Kamal, the head of the PKS in the House of Representatives, said the party would follow all legal procedures related to the case but that Yusuf’s charges were baseless.

A PKS legislator, Arifinto, was recently caught in the House looking at a pornographic video on his tablet computer.

Anis Matta was last month implicated in a sex-video scandal that the police later cleared him of.

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