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Hearing date set for accused in Malaki Tauiliili's death

The hearing for two men charged with manslaughter in relation to the death of Jeremiah Malaki Tauiliili has been set down for February next year. 

Mr. Tauiliili, a 24-year-old Civil Engineer working at the Ministry of Works, Transport and Infrastructure, died following an alleged altercation at the Marina last July. 

He later died at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital.

Herman Westerlund and Suapaina Savai’inaea have pleaded not guilty to the charge of manslaughter. 

Justice Leiataualesa Daryl Clarke scheduled the trial for the 24th of February 2020 during criminal mention on Monday.

He also granted an application from lawyer Fepuleai Patrick Fepuleai to withdraw as counsel for Westerlund. 

Lawyer Muriel Lui is now representing Westerlund while Leiataualesa Jerry Brunt is acting for Savai’inaea. 

Ms. Lui had sought an earlier hearing date in December for the matter instead of February. 

But Justice Leiataualesa told her she can liaise with the Court registrar later on for an earlier hearing date that is available. 

Assistant Attorney General Magele Leone Sua was the prosecutor. 

Westerlund and Savai’inaea are remanded on bail until the trial. 

The final hearing date has been set after the defence dropped an appeal on a decision that denied the defendants a request to have separate trials. 

The initial trial date for Westerlund and Savai’ainaea was scheduled for June of this year. 

However, an application from the defendants to have separate trials meant the hearing could not proceed. 

Supreme Court Judge, Mata Keli Tuatagaloa dismissed that application two months ago. 

The media was not privy to a copy of the decision and reasons for the dismissal. 

The two defendants were charged following the death of Tauiliili days after he was admitted at the hospital in January this year. 

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