Lam to appeal murder charge

The husband of the former Chief Executive Officer of the Unit Trust of Samoa, Sa’u Justina Fa’asamoa, is appealing a guilty verdict for her murder. 

Kolani Junior Lam was sentenced to life imprisonment in December last year after the Court found that Sa’u Justina did not commit suicide. 

Justice Mata Keli Tuatagaloa delivered the decision.

“The Court finds the defendant, Kolani Lam, strangled Justina Sa'u with his hands by intermittent neck compression, then Justina Sau died from intermittent neck compression from strangulation by hands,” the Judge said in her concluding remarks. 

Lam received the mandatory life imprisonment sentence for murdering Sa’u on the 20th of October 2018.

He will appear in the Supreme Court for mention on Monday next week for his appeal.

Lam was also found guilty of assaulting Talei Kelsall in 2016, the daughter of Sa’u from her first marriage, and attempting to defeat the course of justice in relation to the murder charge.  

The accused had pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. 

After a lengthy trial last year, Justice Tuatagaloa ruled in favour of the prosecution’s case that Lam strangled his wife and staged her death to make it look like she committed suicide. 

The former U.T.O.S. C.E.O. and mother of four children was 43 years old when she died. 

“The Court accepts the forensic pathologist’s findings that multiple injuries and bruising within the tissues of the deceased’s neck and presence of possible red spots from neck up is most likely caused by the application of multiple point of force such as multiple fingertips by way of strangulation,” ruled Justice Tuatagaloa. 

The Court also concluded that, “…at the time he applied intermittent neck compression to Justina, he intended for her to die.” 

“The defendant was applying intermittent neck compression. It could have ended at any time he releases compression to stop if he intended for it to stop but he didn’t.” 

According to Forensic Pathologist, Dr. Paul Botterrill, the cause of death was by intermittent neck compression. 


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