15 Feb 2011

Husband and wife in Samoa plead guilty to killing stepdaughter and sentenced to life

4:00 pm on 15 February 2011

A man and his wife in Samoa have both now been pleaded guilty to murdering a 14-year-old girl more than six years ago.

The pair have been given life sentences for causing the death of the wife's biological daughter in 2004.

Fa'afetai Otemai Sione and his wife Fa'asalafa Fa'afetai both faced a murder charge after it emerged the teenager had disappeared some years before.

The information came from the couple's other children during an investigation into an assault on one of them by the father.

Our correspondent, Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia, was at the Supreme Court:

"The last calling of the case, the husband pleaded guilty, but now it was a chance to enable the wife to get her entry. She was asked by the Chief Judge if she would like to consult legal aid, before she enters the plea. She said no and that's when a registrar read the charge of murder, of murdering her 14-year-old daughter. The investigation by the police to try to find out the whereabouts of the burial site was not successful."

Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia says as the couple pleaded guilty there was no further discussion of the case in court and exactly what happened to the 14 year old remains unknown.