Medical report shows prisoner died from hanging, Police say

By Ilia L. Likou ,

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TAFAIGATA TALES: Siliva Auali'itia (inset) was found at Tafaigata last month. His death is the subject of an inquest.

TAFAIGATA TALES: Siliva Auali'itia (inset) was found at Tafaigata last month. His death is the subject of an inquest.

A prisoner found dead at Tafaigata last month died as a result of hanging.

This is the latest development from the Police investigation into the death of prisoner Siliva Auali’itia.

Police spokesperson, Sala’a Sale Sala’a, told the Samoa Observer the medical report makes the finding.

 “The medical report shows that hanging was the cause of death,” he said.

 “That’s all I can say at this stage. According to the medical report received by the Ministry of Police, that is the cause of death.”

The medical report, he added, has been subjected to an inquest before the Court.

Siliva Auali’itia was found dead at Tafaigata Prison. When the news broke, his family refuted claims made by the Prison and Correction Services that he had committed suicide.

The grieving mother, Te’evao Tivalu, said they suspect that Siliva was beaten since his body sustained multiple bruises on his face, legs and his hips.

The family provided photos of Siliva’s bruised body and face to the Samoa Observer.

“When we visited him at the morgue, I almost fainted and I didn’t want to look at my son’s face,” she said.

“Part of his face was decomposed, his lips were swollen, his forehead was badly bruised and his buttocks suffered cuts as if he was being dragged.”

Ms. Te’evao said Siliva’s body had already been buried.

She also told the Samoa Observer that they would be suing the Prison and Correction Services as well as the National Health Services.

“At the moment we are looking for a good lawyer who is willing to take on our case,” she said.

“I will fight until I get justice for my son because if we don’t then we will never know what is really going on behind those bars.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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