Jessica Kumala Wongso, a former design student from Sydney is facing 20 years in prison for the murder of her best friend, Wayan Mirna Salihin, by slipping cyanide into her coffee.
The 27-year-old allegedly invited Salihin, also 27, to a popular café in Jakarta and ordered her a Vietnamese iced coffee.
Indonesian prosecutors alleged that Wongso carried out her plan to kill “meticulously” noting that Wongso intended to kill her fellow design student after Salihin advised her to break up with her boyfriend as he was using drugs.
CCTV footage shows Wongso arriving at the café where she had arranged to meet up with Salihin and another friend. She arrived 90 minutes before they had planned to meet.
The accused then leaves the restaurant and returns with three shopping bags, each containing a small bottle of liquid soap, according to News.com.au.
She then places the bags at the end of the table, which police argue was to obscure the view of the cameras.
Still one hour before her friends were due to arrive, Wongso orders an iced coffee along with two other drinks and places them behind the bags. Police allege this is when she laced Salihin’s drink with cyanide.
Once Salihin arrives and takes a sip of the drink, she instantly begins frothing at the mouth and gasping for breath. She later died in hospital.
Wongso then accuses the café of putting something in her friend’s drink. The café staff take the drinks away and they are kept for evidence.
The case has been dubbed Indonesia’s ‘Trial of the century’, with the media circus surrounding it reaching unprecedented levels.
On last night’s 60 Minutes, Salihin‘s husband Arief Soemarko explained how his wife had become cautious of her friend after their argument.
“After that meeting, she grew a fear of Jessica, like, she don’t want to meet her face-to-face just the two of them. She wants someone to accompany her,” he told 60 Minutes.
Soemarko believes their wedding made Wongso jealous, and they chose not to invite her.
“Because Mirna grew cautious of Jessica, we didn’t invite her to the wedding,”
Wongso appeared to go off the rails in 2015, she was hospitalized five times for self harm and crashed her car into a Leichhardt nursing home in an alleged drunk driving incident.
Wongso is set to face 20 years in prison if she is found guilty but has since denied the charges telling the court she had no memory of key details from the day. She claimed that everything moved so quickly once Salihin drank the coffee and made a remark about the odd taste.
The maximum punishment for premeditated murder in Indonesia is the death penalty however Australian authorities have agreed to assist with the case as long as the death penalty isn’t handed out.
The defense told the court that the case against Wongso lacks evidence to prove she’s guilty with toxicology reports showing Salihin tested negative to cyanide in gastric fluid, bile, liver and urine 70 minutes after her death.
The verdict is yet to be ruled.