By Lagi Keresoma
APIA, SAMOA – 2 SEPTEMBER 2020: Herman Westerlund and Suapaina Savai’inaea were acquitted of murder and manslaughter by Justice Mata Tuatagaloa today.
In passing sentence, Justice Mata Tuatagaloa pointed out that prosecution failed to prove their case against the defendants beyond reasonable doubt.
She also emphasized that the evidence by the pathologist who conducted a post mortem on the deceased, Jeremiah Malaki that the cause of death was due to injury caused by a blunt object, and in this case a kick, a punch or impact of the fall.
Prosecution wanted the pathologist to say that either the kick, the punch or the fall caused the death of the deceased.
However, the pathologist could not identify which of the three actions was the actual cause of death; therefore, there is a doubt to causation in this case, said JusticeTuatagaloa.
“I find that there are too many uncertainties surrounding this case and prosecution cannot prove beyond reasonable doubt that the punch, or punches, the fall or the kick caused Jeremiah’s death,” she said.
She then dismissed the charges.
The charges stemmed from an incident at the Marina Club by the Matautu-tai wharf in November 2018.