Indonesian Woman Sentenced To 20 Years In Jail For Murdering Her Friend

She put cyanide in the victim's coffee.
by F. Valencia
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Last Thursday, October 26, the Central Jakarta Court in Indonesia sentenced 27-year-old Jessica Kumala Wongso to 20 years in jail for murdering her college friend Wayan Mirna Salihin, also 27.

In January this year, Wongso had met up with Salihin and another friend at Olivier, a cafe located at the Grand Indonesia Mall in Jakarta.

CCTV footage shows that Wongso arrived at the cafe about an hour before Salihin and the third woman did. She ordered drinks for them while she waited in a booth.

"The footage showed Wongso putting three shopping bags she had with her on the table, blocking her and the drinks from the camera's view. After making a series of movements, she then placed the bags on the seat. Prosecutors argued that the defendant was lacing Salihin's iced coffee with cyanide from behind her makeshift screen," reports Joe Cochrane in the New York Times.

Witnesses said that after taking a sip of her coffee, Salihin collapsed on the floor and went into convulsions. She was rushed to the hospital, but she was already dead by the time she got there.

Investigation later revealed that Wongso had put cyanide in Salhin's coffee.

Prosecutors argued that Wongso decided to kill Salihin because of two reasons.

First, they said Wongso felt that her former boyfriend was "insulted" by Salihin. Apparently, Salihin had advised Wongso to break up with the guy.

Second, Wongso was supposedly overcome by jealousy because Salihin recently got married.

The report notes: "Prosecutors pointed out that Wongso, who was living in Sydney, Australia, had returned to Indonesia for a holiday in December 2015 with plans to get revenge on Salihin by killing the latter."

Despite the forensics proving her guilt, Wongso maintains her innocence. Reuters reports that she told the three-judge panel that she thought the verdict was "unfair and one-sided."

Nevertheless, presiding judge Kisworo (who, like many Indonesians, use one name) declared, "The defendant has been proven guilty of premeditated murder. The murder was vile and sadistic because the defendant did it to her own friend."

Nevertheless, Wongso's lawyers are expected to file an appeal for her case.

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