Date set for inquest in case of dead prisoner

A date has been set for an inquest into the death of prisoner Siliva Auali’itia who was found dead at Tafaigata Prison two weeks ago.

The hearing is scheduled for 30 August 2017.

This was confirmed by the Assistant Commissioner of Prisons and Correction Services, Ulugia Niuia Aumua.

Ulugia was asked for a comment in regards to allegations made by the family that the prisoner was beaten to death.

“We cannot comment on the issue as we are waiting for the inquest at the end of this month,” Ulugia told the Samoa Observer.

“All I know is that the inquest will be on the 30th of August. We will have to wait for the result of the inquest.”

Last week, Siliva Aualiitia’s family refuted claims made by the Prison and Correction Services that he had committed suicide.

The grieving mother, Te’evaoTivalu, 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, which we are not able to publish.

“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.

“We buried him last week Monday because his body was staring to smell and besides we didn’t want to leave the body out for too long.”

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.”

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