Former University lecturer dies while court hearing waits


By Rula Su’a – Vaai

APIA, SAMOA – WEDNESDAY 13 JUNE 2018:  Former University lecturer Christopher Gounder has died while hearing on his court case on an attempted murder charge is waiting to be heard.

Gounder has been held up in jail since April this year and last month his lawyer applied for bail.

According to police, Gounder was on bail when he allegedly took his own life last weekend.

No further details of his death were available except a general report on the Police Services facebook that said “police are investigating 3 homicide cases suspected to be suicide.”

In court this week, Gounder’s lawyer Tuisa Tasi Patea notified the Chief Justice that his client has died over the weekend.

A matter the Prosecutor was not aware of as she had no evidence or documentation that confirmed the defendant had died.

The Chief Justice then asked the Prosecutor to provide any documents to confirm the defendant has died to be tendered in court next week.

Meanwhile the Samoa Police Service confirms investigations into 3 homicide cases suspected to be suicide.

“On Friday 8th June 2018, Police were called to the Moto’otua Hospital regarding a 43 year old male who had been admitted for urgent treatment suspected of consuming a poison liquid chemical.

On the next day, police responded to a call regarding a 42 year old male who died suspected of taking his own life.

On Sunday 10 June, police responded to a call for assistance and found a 14 year old male who is believed to have taken his own life.

The Samoa Police Service urges the public who are in similar situations, to seek help through the NGO – Fa’ataua le Ola on Telephone 30609.

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