Australian woman Sara Connor and British man David Taylor, who are accused of murdering an on-duty Bali police officer, have returned to the beach where the alleged crime took place for a reconstruction in front of media.
The Denpasar police chief said evidence strongly supported the murder and assault charges against both subjects, and that Connor had helped her British boyfriend assault the victim.
The couple had been kept apart since the death of Bali police officer Wayan Sudarsa, who was found with 42 wounds to his body on Kuta Beach, including his head and neck.
Taylor kissed Connor on the temple when they arrived, handcuffed together, around 4:00am local time exactly two weeks after the officer’s death.
The pair were taken to the water’s edge, before being moved back closer to the street where Taylor allegedly first confronted the police officer over Connor’s missing bag.
Police confronted the pair over conflicting accounts of the events of the night, with a member of Taylor’s legal team conceding some contradictions had likely emerged.
The crime reconstruction lasted over three hours.
‘She helped’: re-enactment shows Connor involved in death, police say
At one stage during the reconstruction, a man acting as the dead police officer lay face down in the sand, as Taylor pretended to hit him with a broken beer bottle.
Senior Commissioner Hadi Purnomo said Connor helped Taylor assault Mr Sudarsa, and used the officer’s Walkie Talkie to hit him.
“She helped, she was involved,” Mr Purnomo told reporters at the scene.
“At the time Sara was bitten by the victim because she was on top of the victim and the victim bit her.
“The deadly blow was when David [Taylor] assaulted the victim using a bottle – a broken beer bottle – which he stabbed on the victim repeatedly, that caused the victim to be incapacitated.”
However, Connor’s lawyer Eriwn Siregar, who was also at the scene, said the re-enactment confirmed his client had tried to separate the victim and her boyfriend.
“In my opinion, from the reconstruction today there were a lot of scenes that Sara didn’t know about because basically what she tried to do was to separate them,” Mr Siregar said.
“Sara took the walkie talkie but she threw it away she didn’t use it to hit, and that was clearly shown in the reconstruction this morning.”
The police chief said evidence strongly supported the charges against both suspects, although Inspector General Sugeng Priyanto said lawyers had the right to argue the Australian woman was not involved in the alleged murder.
The police chief also said the crime had been made worse by the suspects allegedly destroying evidence and taking belongings from the policeman’s body.
Taylor and Connor raise concerns about reconstruction: lawyers
The Denpasar police chief said the 45-year-old Byron Bay woman had disagreed with some of the re-enactment, but police say they based the reconstruction on the dossiers given by the suspects.
David Taylor’s lawyer Haposan Sihombing said his client also raised concerns about the reconstruction.
“He told me that some things aren’t right here, but I said to him that is Sara’s version of events so you make your own version,” Mr Sihombing said.
He said Connor’s version had differed in some areas to Taylor’s, including conflicting details about their positions.
“Sara’s version, for example, the hair pulling according to him it’s this way, and the other said that way,” Mr Sihombing said.
Mr Sihombing said 45 scenes were played out at Kuta beach, but police refused to re-enact the moment his client had allegedly hit the police officer with a pair of binoculars.
“From what played out at the scene it seemed like Sara was separating them, but it will be proven in court whether she was actually separating them or whether article 170 can be applied, that she was together committing group assault, which has a 12-year penalty,” he said.
He said he had requested the handcuffs be taken off the pair during the re-enactment, and police had agreed.
“Even though I heard that Sara’s ex-husband was here, today I saw the human relationship of two people who like each other mutually,” Mr Sihombing said.
The police chief said blood was found on the wall and on a towel in Taylor’s hotel room.
Connor’s credit card and wallet were among belongings found near the crime scene.
Mr Sihoming said Taylor was also asked about the victim’s shoes.
“He took the victim’s shoes off, but he forgot why he did that,” he said.
“He was also asked about Sara. After they went back to Kudu Kath Inn, they cleaned their clothes and he knew there was a little bit of blood on Sara’s clothes.
“Usually in my experience when the investigators confront the parties involved, that means there are some contradicting statements between the suspect.”