Jessica Cyanide Case and Circumstantial Evidence in Indonesian Law

Netflix’s true crime documentaries have gained international acclaim, with one particular case grabbing the spotlight – the Jessica Wongso case. This gripping story revolves around the mysterious death of Mirna Salihin, and it showcases the extensive use of circumstantial evidence in the trial of Jessica Wongso. In this article, we will closely examine circumstantial evidence, its application in the Indonesian legal system, and whether it aligns with Indonesian law, all within the context of the infamous Jessica Wongso case.

Circumstantial evidence refers to indirect evidence that implies a fact or event without directly proving it. Instead of relying on eyewitness accounts or direct proof, circumstantial evidence builds a case through a series of interconnected facts and inferences. It plays a crucial role in many criminal cases, as it can establish guilt or innocence based on the totality of circumstances surrounding the case.

The Jessica Cyanide case is a prime example of how circumstantial evidence can be pivotal in a criminal trial. Jessica Wongso was accused of poisoning her friend Mirna Salihin by lacing her coffee with cyanide during a meeting at a cafe. While there were no direct witnesses to the poisoning, the prosecution presented a web of circumstantial evidence linking Wongso to the crime.

Some key pieces of circumstantial evidence in this case included surveillance footage showing Wongso at the scene, her strained relationship with the victim, and the timing of Mirna Salihin’s death shortly after consuming the coffee. While individually these elements might not be conclusive, when taken together, they formed a compelling case against Jessica.

Before the Jessica Wongso case, circumstantial evidence was relatively unfamiliar in Indonesian legal circles. In fact, its usage had been attempted in at least two prior cases – the cooking oil cartel case and the fuel surcharge cartel case. The Indonesian Business Competition Supervisory Commission (KPPU) had heavily relied on circumstantial evidence in these cases. However, when these cases were subjected to appeals, the Supreme Court of Indonesia dismissed the circumstantial evidence presented.

The Jessica Cyanide case serves as a contemporary illustration of the significant role that circumstantial evidence can play in the Indonesian legal system. While circumstantial evidence alone cannot replace direct evidence, it can be a potent tool in establishing guilt when used effectively and in accordance with Indonesian law.