|Re-enactment at Oliver Café in Jakarta, where the victim died after sipping|
an iced coffee her friend had bought for her.
The family of Wayan Mirna Salihin, the former Sydney design student allegedly poisoned at a Jakarta cafe in January, has lambasted the 20-year jail sentence sought by prosecutors saying the Indonesian-Australian woman accused of her murder deserved the death penalty.
Prosecutors late on Wednesday demanded that the Central Jakarta District Court find Australian permanent resident Jessica Kumala Wongso, 27, guilty of premeditated murder.
Salihin, who met Ms Wongso while studying at Billie Blue College in Sydney, died on January 6 after sipping an iced coffee her friend had bought for her.
“It can be concluded that the defendant has laced with cyanide the coffee drunk by the victim when the coffee was in the defendant’s possession,” prosecutor Melanie Wuwung told the court.
Although the maximum sentence for premeditated murder is the death penalty, Indonesia has promised it would be taken off the table after requesting assistance from the Australian Federal Police in the case.
Ministerial approval is a necessary condition for Australian assistance in investigating crimes that could lead to the death penalty, after the AFP tip-off that ultimately led to the execution last year of Bali Nine ringleaders Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.
Lead prosecutor Ardito Muwardi said a 20-year-prison sentence fitted the crime.
“A sentence demand depends on the prosecution’s subjectivity. Subjectively, we feel that 20 years is enough,” Mr Muwardi told television station MetroTV.
Salihin’s widower, Arief Sumarko, was furious.
“We were newlyweds. We were in love. She is my closest friend. We were going to start a family. But she was taken from me,” Mr Sumarko told The Australian.
“How can I accept? She doesn’t deserve this. We all know who killed Mirna. I hope the judges sentence Wongso as severely as legally possible.”
Ms Wongso’s lawyer, Otto Hasibuan, said the defendant “does not deserve a day in jail”.
Mr Hasibuan highlighted testimonies by Australian toxicologists led by Beng Beng Ong, who claimed there was insufficient evidence to conclude that Salihin died of cyanide poisoning. saying that “death of natural causes cannot be ruled out”.
Prosecutors told the three judges to ignore the defence experts’ because their credibility and integrity were questionable.
The defence is scheduled to provide a counter argument next week.
Source: The Australian, October 7, 2016
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