Police name sex cult leader suspect

Jakarta, Indonesia - Police have named the leader of a deviant cult that engaged in group sex rituals, Agus Imam Solichin, a suspect after questioning him since he surrendered last week.

"He has been declared a suspect today with the charges of sexual abuse and blasphemy," Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Zulkarnain said Sunday.

Zulkarnain said the police still sought further evidence to charge him.

South Jakarta Police were working with the Coordinating Body for Monitoring Mystical Beliefs in the Society (Bakorpakem) after the government body recommended a ban of the sex cult last week, he said.

"The police still need to find more evidence to prove blasphemy. Therefore, we are still collecting more evidence and questioning more witnesses to build the case," he said.

He said the police found it difficult to charge Agus with sexual abuse due the lack of hard evidence and the absence of witnesses from the 2003 sex rituals.

Agus told police investigators that he had ordered his followers to perform group sex.

The sect, known as Satrio Piningit Weteng Buwono, has come under public scrutiny after a former member Kusmana filed a complaint with the police against Agus.

Kusmana blamed Agus for the death of his daughter, Ratna Ayu Kusumaningrum, last December because Agus prevented Kusmana for seeking medical treatment for severely ill Ratna, saying it was part of the sect's teachings.

So far, the police have questioned six witnesses, Zulkarnain said.

Following the report from Kusmana, police searched the cult's headquarters.

Last Thursday, Agus surrendered to the South Jakarta Police headquarters, saying he was worried about his safety due to intense media reports concerning the cult and asked for protection from the police.

Zulkarnain said that as part of the investigation, Agus would undergo a psychological test Monday.