The Australian Federal Police is helping Indonesian authorities investigate the country’s highest-profile murder case — the alleged poisoning by cyanide of a young woman in a Jakarta cafe.
Australian permanent resident Jessica Wongso has been charged with the premeditated murder of her friend, Mirna Salihan, who died in December shortly after drinking a coffee that police said was laced with cyanide.
After meeting up with two friends at the Jakarta cafe on January 6, Ms Salihan allegedly cried out that her coffee tasted awful, police said.
She collapsed shortly after, convulsing and foaming at the mouth. She died on her way to hospital about one hour later.
Cyanide was detected in Ms Salihan’s blood and deemed the cause of death.
Ms Salihan and Ms Wongso reportedly studied together at the Billy Blue College of Design in Sydney before moving on to the Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne.
Justice Minister Michael Keenan said he gave permission for the AFP to help with the case after Indonesia said it would not seek the death penalty.
The need for ministerial approval for help involving capital crimes is a result of the furore over the AFP tip-off that led to the arrest of the Bali Nine.