JAKARTA - Julaikah Noor Aini, an Indonesian woman suspected of commissioning the murder of her British husband, Robert Kevin Ellis, has denied the allegation.
Noor's lawyer, Nyoman Wisnu, said her client never instructed the other five suspects in the case to murder Ellis.
He said Noor also refuted the allegation that she wanted to take over the victim's assets.
Wisnu said that a week before the murder took place, Noor had confided in her maids, Feli and Yuliana, about the poor state of her relationship with Ellis. Both maids have been named suspects in the case.
"The problem was actually about Pak Bob [Ellis] never paying attention to Ibu Noor. He often got drunk and in the last year paid no attention to her," Wisnu said on Sunday.
According to Wisnu, Feli introduced her boyfriend Adrianus Ngongo to Noor on Oct. 5, claiming that Adrianus could solve Noor's problem. Adrianus is currently in police custody.
During a meeting that reportedly took place in Noor and Ellis' villa at Emerald Bali Villa C6, Andrianus told Noor that he had several friends who would work together to solve her problem.
"Ibu Noor never thought that they would solve the problem by murdering her husband. She thought they would simply warn Ellis to pay more attention to her," Wisnu said.
Two days later another meeting allegedly took place at a vacant lot owned by Noor on Jl. Sudamala in Sanur. There she met Andrianus and his four accomplices, who are now on the police's wanted list, Wisnu said.
"To them, Noor said please solve the problem, but don't bruise him or break [bones]. And they said OK," he explained.
When they asked about payment, Noor said "It's easy". They asked Noor to pay 150 million rupiah (US$12,500).
Wisnu said Noor was surprised that they had asked for so much. "She asked why it was so expensive, but they answered, 'You said it is easy. Why you do now say it is expensive? That's the price. If you can't pay, that's OK'." Noor eventually agree to the price.
As prearranged, the men went to Noor's villa on Oct. 19. Ellis was not in the villa when they arrived so they waited in the maid's room. When Ellis arrived home at 6 p.m., he went straight to the kitchen. Noor was in the bedroom at the time.
"Within 30 minutes, one of the killers, Martin, knocked on Noor's bedroom door and said, 'Ma'am, it's done. It's finished. I slit Pak Bob's throat," Wisnu said.
When she realised that her husband had been killed, Noor became hysterical.
"But the gang leader, Martin, slapped Noor and warned her to be quiet. They instructed Noor to take her car and dump the body. Noor followed their instructions because she was scared," Wisnu said.
Wisnu said that the couple had married in 1986, but their relationship had soured last year. Noor filed for a divorce at the Denpasar District Court in June, but Ellis begged her to reconsider. Noor then withdrew her petition for a divorce.
"If Noor was thinking about money and assets, she would not think that far. All the property is owned by Noor, as a foreigner Ellis could not own property in Indonesia. That was not the problem. If she was thinking just about the money, she could have divorced him and got part of the assets," he added.
Bali Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Hery Wiyanto said earlier said that Noor had commissioned her husband's murder as she coveted his assets.
Hery also said Noor allegedly felt embittered as the 60-year-old Ellis was having an affair. He also said she took part in dumping her husband's body by driving the car with his body in it, along with the maids and the killers, 25 kilometres from the villa where the murder took place.