Indonesian woman sentenced to 12 years for killing British husband

DENPASAR (AFP) - An Indonesian woman who ordered the contract killing of her British husband was sentenced on Wednesday (June 10) to 12 years in prison.

Sixty-year-old Robert Ellis was found in a ditch with his throat slashed in late October on the Indonesian resort island of Bali.

Julaikah Noor Ellis, 45, had admitted paying three men to murder her husband, who was also an Australian passport-holder.

"The defendant has been proven legally and convincingly guilty of deliberately committing... premeditated murder," Judge Anak Agung Ketut Anom Wirakanta said at Denpasar district court in the island's capital.

He said he took Noor's previously clean record and her remorse into account when determining the sentence.

Relations between the two soured over their years of marriage, with Noor angry that her husband had failed to provide for her financially, the court heard.

She decided to have her husband murdered, offering three men the equivalent of US$11,300 (S$15,180) to carry out the crime.

Noor invited the men to watch her villa and prepare for the murder and gave them details of her husband's movements.

The three men, two of whom were also sentenced to 12 years in jail on Wednesday, murdered Ellis at his home and dumped the body next to a padi field. The third killer will be sentenced on Thursday (June 11).

Noor is still considering whether to appeal aginst the sentence, her lawyer said.

Bali, a pocket of Hinduism in Muslim-majority Indonesia, attracts millions of foreign visitors every year with its palm-fringed beaches and tropical climate.

While foreigners often fall foul of Indonesia's tough anti-drugs laws, which include the death penalty, grisly murders are rare.

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