Jessica Wongso, a name etched in infamy, is an Indonesian-born Australian resident who garnered international attention for her involvement in the notorious coffee murder case.
She is from a family of significant wealth and privilege, Jessica’s life took a fateful turn that led to her becoming a central figure in one of Indonesia’s most sensational criminal trials.
Accused of poisoning her close friend, Wayan Mirna Salihin, through a lethal dose of cyanide in a coffee drink, Jessica’s trial and subsequent conviction captivated the public and legal communities alike.
Where is Jessica Wongso Now?
As of now, Jessica Wongso remains incarcerated in Indonesia, where she has already served seven years of her twenty-year sentence.
Throughout her trial, Wongso displayed a striking lack of emotion, with a recorded video capturing moments of her smiling and laughing while vehemently denying any involvement in Salihin’s poisoning.
Despite being found guilty, Wongso engaged in a comprehensive appeal process, which ultimately ended in rejection by both The Jakarta High Court and the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court spokesperson succinctly stated, “We reject the cessation,” firmly upholding her sentence and the verdict rendered during the highly publicized trial.
Why Jessica Wongso Killed Wayan Mirna Salihin?
According to prosecutors, the motive for the murder stemmed from a disagreement between Wongso and Salihin over a man Wongso had been dating in Australia.
Reportedly, Salihin had voiced concerns about Wongso’s partner and suggested ending the relationship due to his alleged violent tendencies and drug use. This difference of opinion, prosecutors argued, ignited Wongso’s anger and resentment towards her friend.
During the highly publicized trial, it was alleged that Wongso, driven by jealousy over Salihin’s happy marriage and the fact that she hadn’t been invited to the wedding, orchestrated a sinister plot to poison her friend.
According to the prosecution’s argument, Wongso arrived at the Olivier Cafe ahead of her friends, placed the drink orders in advance, and discreetly introduced cyanide into Salihin’s iced coffee.
They argued that Wongso strategically used her shopping bags to conceal the drinks from the view of CCTV cameras.
The trial’s outcome was met with controversy, primarily because it relied heavily on expert witnesses, lacking direct evidence of Wongso’s guilt.
Throughout the proceedings, no one testified to seeing her poison the drink. Her defense lawyer, Yudi Wibowo, emphasized this absence of concrete evidence.
Adding to the complexity of the case, the available CCTV footage and the toxicology test performed 70 minutes after Salihin’s passing yielded no evidence of cyanide in critical samples, leaving investigators with few concrete leads.
It was only days later that small traces of cyanide were found in her stomach fluid, a discovery mired in ambiguity as it could have potentially been attributed to embalming chemicals.
Surprisingly, because of Wongso’s status as a permanent Australian resident, she avoided the death penalty, which is Indonesia’s punishment for premeditated murder.
The Jessica Wongso case remains a subject of debate, shrouded in mystery and controversy, with many questions lingering about the validity of the conviction and the complex circumstances surrounding this high-profile murder trial.
How Jessica Wongso Killed Wayan Mirna Salihin?
At 3:32 p.m. on January 6, 2016, Jessica Kumala Wongso arrived at the bustling Grand Indonesia shopping mall in Jakarta, preparing to meet her friends, including Wayan Mirna Salihin, at 5 p.m.
After securing a reservation at the Olivier Cafe and indulging in some retail therapy, Wongso returned to the cafe at 4:14 p.m.
It was at this point that she placed her order, which included the fateful Vietnamese iced coffee that would allegedly lead to Salihin’s demise.
As she waited for Salihin’s arrival at 5:16 p.m., Wongso kept the drinks concealed from the cafe’s security camera, strategically using shopping bags to shield them from view.
Tragically, shortly after Salihin took a sip of the coffee, she began complaining about its terrible taste and, distressingly, lost consciousness.
Immediate medical help was called for, and Salihin was swiftly transported to Abdi Waluyo Hospital in Menteng, Central Jakarta. Despite medical efforts, she tragically passed away at 6 p.m.
The autopsy carried out at Kramat Jati Police Hospital on January 10, indicated the presence of bleeding in Salihin’s stomach. Allegedly, traces of cyanide were found both in the coffee she had ingested and within her stomach during the examination.
Later, on January 30, 2016, Jessica Wongso, a former permanent resident of Australia, faced charges of premeditated murder in the case of Wayan Mirna Salihin, which resulted in her subsequent arrest and detention, awaiting trial.
Throughout this harrowing ordeal, Wongso vehemently denied any involvement in Salihin’s untimely death, a stance maintained by her defense lawyer, Yudi Wibowo.
What Happened at the Court Trial and What Jessica Wongso’s Crime?
The court trial of Jessica Kumala Wongso commenced on June 15, following her identification as a suspect approximately a month earlier.
This trial would go on to become a national spectacle, lasting nearly five months, with a duration of 135 days, all of which was broadcast live for the public.
On October 27, 2016, the verdict was delivered, finding Jessica Kumala Wongso guilty of the murder of Wayan Mirna Salihin, citing her act of poisoning Mirna’s coffee with cyanide. As a result, she received a 20-year prison sentence.
The Jakarta Post reported that the judges concurred with the indictment’s assertion that Jessica’s motive for the murder was rooted in Mirna’s repeated advice for her to end her relationship with Patrick O’Connor, her former Australian boyfriend.
Subsequently, after a protracted legal battle, during which her appeal was rejected by The Jakarta High Court, the Supreme Court, presided over by Judges Artidjo Alkostar, Salman Luthan, and Sumardiyatmo, unanimously dismissed Jessica’s cassation appeal, firmly concluding, “reject the cassation,” as conveyed by Supreme Court spokesman Suhadi.