Woman Guilty in Friend's Coffee Murder

Jessica Wongso convicted of lacing drink with cyanide
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 27, 2016 10:43 AM CDT
Woman Guilty in Friend's Coffee Murder
Jessica Wongso appears in court on Oct. 5.   (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana)

A sensational trial that was practically a national soap opera in Indonesia has wrapped up, and a woman is going to jail for 20 years as a result. Australia's Jessica Wongso, 28, was found guilty of murdering friend Mirna Salihin, 27, by lacing her iced coffee with cyanide in a cafe in Jakarta earlier this year, reports ABC Australia. In a trial broadcast live on TV to huge audiences, prosecutors claimed Wongso was jealous of her friend, who'd recently gotten married, and angry that she'd previously told Wongso to break up with a boyfriend, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. Judges called the crime "vile and sadistic," reports the AP, though Wongso continues to insist she's innocent and plans to appeal.

One key factor in the case: A full autopsy wasn't conducted for religious reasons, reports the Australian AP. The defense called toxicologists who testified there was no proof that cyanide was the cause of death. The judges disagreed, and a former boss testified that Wongso once told her she knew "the right dose" to kill someone. During the trial, Wongso said she couldn't recall her actions in the cafe but denied poisoning her friend's drink. Surveillance video does not show her tampering with the iced coffee. One of her lawyers says Wongso was so confident she would be exonerated that she told her family not to attend the verdict as she would soon be home. (More Indonesia stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.