Coroner rules in ‘Jeanine’s’ Inquest

By Pai Mulitalo Ale ,

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DESEASED: Ioane Ipiniu, better known as Jeanine Tuivaiki.

DESEASED: Ioane Ipiniu, better known as Jeanine Tuivaiki.

The Coroner in the Inquest of a fa’afafine found dead and hanging from a Catholic Church hall at Taufusi has ruled that suicide was the cause of death.

Judge Vaepule Vaemoa Vaai delivered the decision last Friday after a hearing that had taken several weeks.

The death of Ioane Ipiniu, better known as Jeanine Tuivaiki, shocked the nation.

There were suspicions from the Police he might have been killed and hung inside the church hall.

All that has now been rested with the decision by the Coroner.

 “The cause of his death was hanging, he committed suicide,” a copy of the decision sighted by the Samoa Observer reads. 

“According to the police evidence the bruising seen on his face was from of an assault by a former male associate… earlier the same morning, he took his own life.” 

Contacted for a comment, Police Media officer Su’a Muliaga Tiumalu said the Coroner’s decision spells the end of their investigation.

He said the Police respect the decision by the Coroner and that is final.

Mr. Ipiniu, 19-year-old of Taufusi and Tapatapao, died during the early hours of 17 June 2016.

During the Inquest, Dr. Agape Amituana’i gave evidence about her examination of Mr. Ipiniu’s body when he was taken to the hospital that morning. 

Dr. Amituanai recalled that the gentleman was dead upon arrival, telling the Court she was satisfied the cause of death was suicide.

She said the bruising on his body could have been inflicted a few minutes before death or it could also have been sustained after he died.

The Court also heard from the deceased’s father.

According to Mr. Ioane, his son was the eldest of six children.

At the time of his death, it had been two years since he moved away from his family to stay with his friends at Taufusi. 

Mr. Ioane told the Court then what had happened was hard to accept because his son had died unexpectedly and at such a young age. 

He told of the injuries he saw, including an open wound to his right eye, a swollen left eye and a cut on his upper lip. 

“His injuries appear that he was beaten up by someone.”

* Where to get help

• Fa’ataua le Ola Lifeline: 800 5433 

• Samoa Victim Support Group: 800 7874

• Police: 22222 or 995

© Samoa Observer 2016

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