Case of Noor and Bob Ellis

Noor and Bob Ellis

Parallel cases, but one ends in murder.


Noor Ellis sentenced to 12 years jail for Bali murder

from The Sydney Morning Herald, by Jewel Topsfield and Amilia Rosa, June 11 2015

Balinese woman Noor Ellis has been sentenced to 12 years’ jail for masterminding the murder of her husband of 25 years, Australian businessman Robert Ellis.

Noor hired five hitmen to take care of her problems with Mr Ellis, who she claimed deprived her of money and was adulterous.

Mr Ellis’ throat was cut in their Sanur villa in October last year, and his body, bound in plastic was dumped in a ditch by a rice paddy.

Head judge Anak Agung Ketut Anom Wirakanta said the panel of judges found the defendant convincingly guilty of acting together to commit premeditated murder.

He sentenced Noor to 12 years’ jail minus time already served. Two of the hitmen Noor hired, Yohanes Sairo Kodu and Urbanus Yoh Ghoghi, were also sentenced to 12 years for premeditated murder.

The judge said mitigating factors for Noor were that she was polite in court, regretted her actions and had promised not to repeat them. She had also frankly admitted her guilt, had prolonged mental suffering and had never been convicted before.

Noor’s lawyer, Nyoman Wisnu, said he would definitely appeal the sentence.

“Noor must be freed, released,” he said.

Noor’s son, Peter Ellis, said the family was extremely disappointed by the outcome of the trial.

“We would have expected a sentence of at least 20 years for the brutal, premeditated murder of our father,” he said outside court.

“We as a family are only coming to terms with the sentence decision and the appeal. For the verdict to be a sentence of only 12 years is unjust not only for us as a family but for Indonesia in general.”

Peter said the family were also upset about the accusations about Mr Ellis, which he said Noor had fabricated in order to defend herself.

“We are also in disbelief about the falsified statements which have been used to support Noor. We would have thought such a forgery was a further crime and evidence of Noor’s guilt.”

Peter said Mr Ellis had been a loving husband, father and brother and his death had left an enormous hole in the lives of everyone he had touched.

This case is not as isolated as it might first appear.

Noor Ellis was a good friend of Ni Made Jati, the Balinese businesswoman at the center of the Uluwatu cases, for at least the past 10 years, and the histories of the two families show many parallels.

Michael Patrick Donnelly and Ni Made Jati

Robert Kevin Ellis and Juliakah Noor Aini

Noor Ellis’s expectations were apparently that she could hope for some help from the police, based perhaps on the experiences of her friend Ni Made Jati.

Policewoman Ni Ketut Wismawati of the office of Chief of Police, Bali (Kapolda Bali) related to the main author of this website in 2015 that she had known Bob and Noor Ellis well as friends and was shocked when she heard the of Bob’s death and Noor’s confession. But she was even more shocked a few days later when she received a phone call from Noor, from her jail cell, in which Noor asked “Please, Ibu, isn’t there something you can do lighten this accusation?”

Ibu Wismawati was stunned and has never spoken to Noor again.

Given that most people would conclude that there is something wrong with Noor’s thinking, she still apparently had some expectation that police might help her—an Indonesian woman—accused of murder in order to gain the assets of her foreign husband.

A comparison of the two families:

Ni Made Jati and Michael Patrick Donnelly Juliakah Noor Aini and Robert Kevin Ellis
Husband American, wife Indonesian, married 1985. Husband British, wife Indonesian, married 1986.
Built several businesses in Bali, lived in villas in Sanur.
Had two sons now about 22 through 26 years old, close to the father, not close to the mother. All four children attended Bali International School together, were classmates, visited each other’s homes.
Wives with limited education but known as a successful and ambitious business women. Both wives active socially in women’s groups (arisan) for wives with foreign husbands or ex-husbands.
All business, land, and assets in the wives’ names only.
Heading for divorce after 20 years of marriage, the wives refuses to discuss or agree to 50/50 division of assets. Wives angry and upset that husbands planned to open PMAs.
Two different solutions...
Made Jati files for divorce using false marriage documents, succeeds in gaining control of all family assets, and police do not seriously investigate criminal complaints. Noor Ellis has no comparable false marriage documents, but sees her friend’s success in gaining all assets without complications from Polda Bali.
With her husband still alive, Made Jati experiences continued stress because Michael continues to demand rights to the family assets. Noor Ellis considers the disadvantages of a living ex-husband.
The result...
The ex-husband and children continue to fight for their legal rights. The husband ends up wrapped in plastic in a rice field. Noor Ellis is sentenced to 12 years in prison, but may well be out in six with typical sentencing guidelines. The children have no rights to the assets now controlled by their mother.

Made Jati with her sons in their Sanur home.

This is one of many photos Made Jati submitted to the courts, police, and friends to claim that she was close to her sons and that they had forgiven her the fraud against their father. This photo was taken one month before the family received a death threat.

Noor Ellis with her sons in their Sanur home.

This photo was arranged in cooperation with the police and Noor’s lawyer and distributed to prove that she was close to her sons and that they had forgiven her for the murder of their father. This photo was taken in front of the kitchen where their father was murdered approximately two weeks earlier.

Whether the failure of police at Polda Bali to investigate reports in the first case contributed to the death of Bob Ellis is impossible to prove, but the parallels are uncomforably close.