Jakarta cyanide coffee murder: Jessica appeals 20-year jail sentence

Jessica was sentenced to 20 years in prison after she was found guilty of killing her friend Mirna with Cyanide-laced coffee

Jessica Kumala Wongso
A court officer stands near an Indonesian woman Jessica Kumala Wongso (R) as she arrives for her trial at the Central Jakarta Court, Indonesia, June 28, 2016 Reuters

Jakarta's high-profile cyanide coffee murder case has taken an unexpected turn after the prime accused Jessica Kumala Wongso filed an appeal to the High Court on 7 December.

Jessica was sentenced to 20 years in prison on 28 October after she was found guilty of killing her friend Wayan Mirna Salihin in cold blood.

The Jakarta Post reported that Jessica lawyer, Otto Hasibuan, has submitted a 148-page appeal document in which he has requested the court to acquit his client. "We've still got a chance at the High Court and the Supreme Court. I hope the High Court will carefully examine our appeal document. There is no overwhelming reason not to acquit Jessica," said Otto in front of the Central Jakarta District Court, according to the reports.

Otto argues that though the prosecutors provided 80 pieces of evidence, it is still not confirmed if it was Jessica who spiked Mirna's coffee with cyanide as there is no direct witness or video surveillance footage to prove the claim. However, expert testimonies during the trial asserted that Mirna had died from cyanide which was mixed into the cup of Vietnamese coffee that Jessica had bought for her, according to the news agency.

It was also reported that the prosecutors are planning to file a new appeal even though the decision after the initial trial was taken in their favour.

During the trial, it was learnt that the 27-year-old former Australian resident Jessica Kumala Wongso killed her college friend Wayan Mirna Salihin with a cyanide-laced coffee at the Olivier Cafe in the Grand Indonesia shopping mall in Jakarta on 6 January. It was likely that Jessica killed Mirna to settle a personal dispute which dated back to June 2015

Mirna hailed from a family of businessmen and studied with Jessica at Sydney's Billy Blue College of Design and Swinburne University of Technology.