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Indonesian Denies Killing College Mate By Poisoned Coffee

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Jakarta :An Indonesian woman accused of murdering her college friend by slipping cyanide into her coffee broke down in tears as she took the stand to deny carrying out the crime.

Prosecutors are demanding that Jessica Kumala Wongso, an Australian permanent resident, be jailed for 20 years for the murder of Wayan Mirna Salihin, who collapsed and died after being poisoned at an upmarket Jakarta cafe in January.

The “poison coffee” case has generated huge interest in Indonesia, with crowds packing out the court during the trial and TV networks showing it live, and in Australia where the victim and alleged murderer studied together at a design college.

Jessica, 28, strenuously denies the premeditated murder of her friend and yesterday took the stand in the Jakarta court to issue an emotional plea for the judges hearing the case to find her innocent.

“I swear, I am not a murderer,” she told the court.

“I didn’t kill Mirna so there shouldn’t be any reason to treat me like garbage.”

Jessica told how she had endured a nightmare since her arrest as she was locked up in a small police cell, and labelled a murderer by the police and Mirna’s family. — AFP

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