The Bali Police have successfully solved the murder of Robert Kevin Ellis, a British national found tied up with his throat cut and covered in plastic and a bed cover in a ditch in the paddy-field area of Sedang village, Abiansemal subdistrict, Badung regency, Bali, on Tuesday.
As of Wednesday evening, the police had named four suspects and were pursuing four others.
One of the suspects is the victim's Indonesian wife, Julaikah Noor Aini, 45, who is accused of masterminding the murder. Another suspect, Adrianus Ngongo or Ari, is alleged to have been paid by Noor to commit the murder.
Meanwhile two other suspects are the family housemaids, who had been working at Bali Emerald Villas in Sanur, where the couple had lived for more than 10 years.
"The victim's wife is the mastermind behind the murder," Badung Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Komang Suartana said on Wednesday.
Suartana said that the murder appeared to have taken place in the kitchen of one of the villa and was conducted by five perpetrators who were paid by Noor.
"The five paid executioners murdered the victim in the villa," Suartana said.
The 60-year-old victim held dual nationality, British and Australian, and had lived in Australia before moving to Indonesia to build his business. The couple has two sons, now living in Perth, Australia.
Suartana said that Noor had confessed to the murder, saying she felt embittered and wanted to take over her husband's assets.
Noor was also reportedly involved in dumping her husband's body, driving the car with his body in it, along with the housemaids and Ari, around 25 kilometres from the villa.
Ari was caught at Padangbai harbour as he was attempting to leave Bali. The police uncovered details of the murder from his statement.
The two housemaids were also named suspects after several hours of questioning for their alleged involvement by calming the dogs outside the villa, while Ellis was being murdered.
Bali Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Hery Wiyanto confirmed that the housemaids had been named suspects.
"Two housemaids […] helped by calming down the dogs and helping to carry the body when it was dumped in the ditch," Hery said Wednesday afternoon.
Suartana said the suspects could be charged with premeditated murder under Article 340 of the Criminal Code, which carries the death penalty.
On Wednesday, the police were still investigating the case. A police forensic team identified the car that was used to dump the body and was investigating at the villa.
"We found some blood in the villa," said a police investigator, who refused to give his name.
The farmer who found Ellis' body in the ditch said he had seen the plastic on Monday but never thought that it covered a corpse. He only realised it was a human body on Tuesday when he took a closer look.
Sanglah forensic team head, Ida Bagus Putu Alit, said an autopsy had determined that the victim died on Monday between 4 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. "We found several bruises on the body, including to the right cheek and right ear," he said.
"Death was as a result of three open wounds to the neck and chin. One of the cuts severed a major artery, causing death," Alit said.