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No appeal filed by A.G. over Malaki's death

The Attorney General's Office will not be appealing a Supreme Court decision that dismissed a murder charge against two men over the death of Jeremiah Malaki Tauiliili in late 2018.

In response to queries from the Samoa Observer, Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Justice Courts and Administration, Moliei Simi Vaai confirmed that there is no appeal. 

“The Attorney General's Office has advised the court that they won’t be appealing this matter,” Ms. Vaai said. 

No response was received from the Attorney General, Savalenoa Mareva Betham - Annandale who was contacted for a comment via email. 

Herman Westerlund and Suapaina Savai’inaea were acquitted by the Acting Chief Justice, Her Honour Niava Keli Tuatagaloa, last month over the death of Malaki. 

The men pleaded not guilty to murder and an alternative charge of manslaughter against them. 

In her decision, Justice Niava said there is too much uncertainty surrounding the cause of the death of Malaki. 

“…that the prosecution cannot prove beyond reasonable doubt that the punch or punches, the fall or the kick was the cause of death,” she concluded. 

“Both defendants are acquitted of the charges of murder and manslaughter. 

“The charges are accordingly dismissed.” 

Attorney General’s Office lawyer Siluevaelei Rexona Titi was the prosecutor. 

Westerlund was represented by Aaron Perkins QC and Muriel Lui while Leiataualesa Jerry Brunt and Elizabeth Peters acted for co-defendant Savai’inaea. 

The charges stemmed from an incident at Matautu-tai between 30 November and 1 November 2018 when the two accused were at the Glass Lounge at Marina with the deceased. 

The men were accused of an alleged unlawful act, namely assault that caused the death of Malaki of Letogo and Lauli’i. 

Malaki fell into coma and died later at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole National Hospital.

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