"Coffee murder": Australian woman given 20 years jail

AN Australian woman has been convicted of killing her friend after lacing her iced coffee with cyanide as they dined in an upmarket cafe in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta earlier this year.

Jessica Kumala Wongso, 28, was sentenced to 20 years in prison amid dramatic scenes in an Indonesian court overnight.

The court was satisfied it was the Sydney woman's malicious actions that led to the death of her 27-year-old friend Mirna Salihin.

The judges found Wongso killed her friend in an act driven by revenge and jealousy after Mirna told Wongso to dump her then-boyfriend.

Months earlier, Mirna had married her sweetheart but Wongso was not invited to the wedding.

The trial has been given tremendous attention in Indonesia after it began in June, and the verdict was broadcast live on television.

More than 500 police were on hand not just for security, but also to separate the two crowds of supporters -- those backing Wongso and the family and supporters of Mirna.

Wongso escaped the death penalty, which is the maximum punishment for murder. reports the Australian Government provided evidence to the investigation on the condition that if found guilty, Wongo's life would be spared.

it also reported Wongso's former boyfriend in Sydney had taken out an AVO against her.

Wongso was a former NSW Ambulance officer and the court heard from her former boss who said she would know how to supply the right dose of a chemical in order to kill someone.

She was fired from her role with NSW Ambulance late last year.

Topics:  australian editors picks

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