Sia keeps lawyer for murder case

By Matai'a Lanuola Tusani T - Ah Tong 25 June 2024, 10:00PM

The well-known playwright charged with murder has decided to maintain her lawyer to represent her and will undergo a psychiatric assessment. 

Sia Catherine Fiegel through her lawyer Unasa Iuni Sapolu confirmed in the Supreme Court this week that the issue about representation has been resolved. 

Unasa said an application for a mental health assessment for her client has already been filed and was consented to by the prosecution. 

She added that the assessment of Fiegel would be done by two experts, one a psychiatrist and another a nurse. 

Another separate application that was sought for a suppression order was withdrawn. 

Senior Supreme Court Justice, Vui Clarence Nelson granted the application for a psychiatrist check on Fiegel by consent allowing three weeks to have the assessment done. 

Prosecutor Maiavatele Timothy Fesili said they would respond to the findings from the experts on the mental state of the defendant once completed. 

Fiegel who is facing a murder charge for the death of Professor Caroline Sinavaiana Gabbard will remain in custody until her next court appearance. 

78-year-old Gabbard's postmortem examination was completed and her family service was conducted last week.  

Fiegel had recently told the court she did not want to be represented by a lawyer and asked to talk directly to the judge. 

When given the opportunity, she expressed her condolences to the family of Prof. Gabbard whom she said was a dear friend who helped her with her writing at university. 

She then told the court she had lost her strength on the day of the incident when the devil took over her. 

By Matai'a Lanuola Tusani T - Ah Tong 25 June 2024, 10:00PM
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