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 Police Take Jessica’s Maid Into Protective Custody, Cite ‘Significant Testimony’ in Mirna’s Murder

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BerichtOnderwerp: Police Take Jessica’s Maid Into Protective Custody, Cite ‘Significant Testimony’ in Mirna’s Murder   vr 22 jan 2016 - 22:42





The Jakarta Globe, 22 Jan 2016


Jakarta. Police have taken into protective custody a maid working for Jessica Kumala Wongso, the woman increasingly at the center of the high-profile poisoning of her friend Wayan Mirna Salihin.

The maid, identified only by the initials S.R., was taken into custody late on Thursday, according to Sr. Comr. Krishna Murti, the Jakarta Police’s director of general crimes.

“We took the maid into custody because her testimony is significant,” he said on Friday.

“Her parents had come to the police to ask that she be taken under our protection,” he added, but did not elaborate on what threats, if any, S.R. faced.

The development is the latest indication yet that police are focusing their investigation into the Jan. 6 death of Mirna, 27, on her friend Jessica, also 27.

Mirna suffered convulsions shortly after taking a sip of iced coffee that Jessica had ordered for her at the Olivier café at the Grand Indonesia mall in Central Jakarta on the afternoon of Jan. 6. She was taken to the mall’s clinic and later to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

An autopsy found traces of cyanide in her stomach, while tests on the coffee also revealed a large concentration of the toxic substance.

While police are still formally treating Jessica as a witness in the case, their investigation has of late appeared to focus on her relationship with the victim. Earlier this week, the police announced that they had sought help from the Australian Federal Police in following a lead out of that country. Jessica and Mirna studied at the same university in Australia, and Krishna said the information being sought “has direct links with what was behind the victim’s death.”

Another lead police are following up on is the revelation that Jessica ordered her maid to dispose of the jeans that she had been wearing at the café on the day Mirna died. Police have searched Jessica’s house and a nearby dumpsite for the jeans, but come up empty-handed.

Krishna indicated that the police’s decision to take the maid into protective custody was linked to that part of the investigation.

“It doesn’t matter whether or not we find the jeans. We’ve got plenty of other evidence,” he said, but stopped short of saying whether the evidence was intended for naming Jessica a suspect.

He added, though, that police would discuss the case with prosecutors next Tuesday, indicating that they had already determined a suspect in the murder.

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