Wife calls for investigation into husband’s death

By Ioana Tupa'i ,

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SADLY MISSED: Alele Manō.

SADLY MISSED: Alele Manō.

The wife of a prisoner who died at the Moto'otua Hospital last month has dismissed Police claims her husband died of a heart attack. 

And Jackie Tasi is asking the relevant authorities to investigate his death. She has also threatened to take legal action against the Prison, Police and the hospital over the handling of his case.  

Alele Mano, 33, from Siumu was serving life in imprisonment when he was hospitalised. A source within the Ministry of Police said the cause of death was heart attack.

But Jackie does not accept this.

During an interview with the Samoa Observer yesterday, she called on the Police to further investigate her husband’s death.

“The doctor’s report clearly pointed out that my husband died because of high blood pressure and it affected his heart,” she said. 

However, she said when she arrived at the Moto’otua Hospital, she saw that her husband’s body had bruises.

“I asked the police officers who were at the hospital at that time why my husband’s body was like that and they told me that my husband always had chest pains,” she said.

Jackie was not convinced. She told the Samoa Observer she did not have the courage to look at her husband’s bruised body.

“Alele was wrapped with a piece of cloth that looked so ugly and the mat that he was lying on was nearly torn apart. To me I could not believe that this is the way my husband would be treated under the prison’s care.”

The different accounts relayed to her about how her husband died adds to the confusion.

“Up until now, I am still confused if my husband died at Tafaigata Prison or at the hospital because even the prison officers had different stories to tell me when I asked them,” she said.

“I was also told by officers that my husband was taken to the hospital on Saturday, Oct 21st because he felt ill. 

“The doctor whose name I cannot recall, discharged him and asked to take him back to Tafaigata Prison.

“I was very disappointed because they knew he was very sick, they should have detained him at the hospital for further treatment.

“I am not happy with the way officers did not inform me first, they informed my husband’s father first, yet they know I am the wife.”

During the interview, Mrs. Tasi said: “When my husband came home to celebrate White Sunday with us, he mentioned to me that they were collecting money. I asked him what that money was for; he replied that it was for their contribution to the construction of the newly-built Tafaigata Prison at Tanugamala.

“My mum jumped into our conversation and said they should not be collecting money to help out with the construction because the government is funding it. Alele replied yes and don’t worry he won’t put in even though they were instructed by the prisoners officers.

“After spending White Sunday with us, he went back and later on, I was told that my husband is gone forever.

“I do believe that something happened inside prison that led to the bruises on my husband’s body.

“My husband was buried on Wednesday and now I will seek justice for my husband’s death. I will look for a lawyer to help me out with my case.”

She said she is seeking a lawyer to take up her case. 

Mrs. Tasi burst into tears when she said that she had never thought that Alele would have gone early because their children were very young. 

“We have two children, our eldest is two years old and the youngest is 11 months.

“Our family relies on him when he had the chance to come home and spend Sundays with his children and then the following week he goes back to prison. 

“He was a loving father to my children and also to my father who is disabled. Alele always takes good care of him,” she said.

Jackie’s mother, Safata Tasi and Alele’s father shared with us their disappointment and sadness on what had transpired. 

“I am not happy with the way they treat my son inside prison, yes of course he is serving life imprisonment because of what he had done but that does not mean they should treat him like that,” Alele’s father said.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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