Jakarta High Court denies Jessica Wongso’s sentence appeal in coffee poisoning case

Murder suspect Jessica Kumala Wongso arrives at the Central Jakarta court on October 27, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Bay ISMOYO

It seemed like a long, long time ago when the Indonesian media would not stop discussing the case of Jessica Wongso, who was accused of poisoning Wayan Mirna Salihin with a glass of iced coffee, especially since they’ve moved on to discussing Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama’s alleged blasphemy against Islam virtually 24/7.

But Jessica is back in the media’s limelight once again as the Jakarta High Court has rejected her appeal to overturn the 20-year prison sentence she was given after being found guilty by the Central Jakarta District Court in October 2016.

“We’re not surprised. For a while I’ve said that we can’t expect the High Court to give justice to Jessica,” said her lawyer, Otto Hasibuan, as quoted by Tempo today.

Many have criticized the Central Jakarta District Court for handing a guilty verdict to Jessica despite a perceived lack of clear evidence.

Otto said that they will file an appeal to the Supreme Court.

Jessica was arrested by the Jakarta Metro Police after being accused of slipping cyanide into Mirna’s Vietnamese iced coffee at Olivier Café in Grand Indonesia mall in January 2016. The case generated huge interest in Indonesia, with crowds packing out the court during the trial and TV networks showing it live, as well as in Australia, where the victim and alleged murderer studied together at a design college.

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