On 6 January 2016, a young Indonesian woman, Wayan Mirna Salihin, collapsed in an upmarket Jakarta cafe after drinking iced coffee, and died before she reached hospital. Despite limited evidence, police reports indicate that cyanide poisoning was the most likely cause of Mirna's death. Following a four-month trial, Jessica Kumala Wongso, an Australian permanent resident, was found guilty of premeditated murder and sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment. Broadcast live on multiple national television stations, the sensational trial gripped the entire nation and continues to intrigue scholars as an example of how media bias and public pressure can impact the right to a fair trial.
Professor Simon Butt sat down with Dr Natali Pearson to review the controversial case, discuss whether Jessica Wongso got a fair trial in Indonesia’s criminal justice system, and debate the influence of the media on criminal trials.
About Simon Butt:
Simon is currently an Associate Director of the Centre for Asian and Pacific Law at the University of Sydney Law School, and a member of the Executive Committee of the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre. Prior to joining the Sydney Law School as Senior Lecturer, Simon worked as a consultant on the Indonesian legal system to the Australian government, the private sector and international organisations, including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ). He has taught over 70 law courses in Indonesia on a diverse range of topics, including intellectual property, Indonesian criminal law, Indonesian terrorism law and legislative drafting. He is fluent in Indonesian.
View the transcript here: https://bit.ly/2DkOBIy