12 Apr 2013

Inquest into prison death begins in Samoa

7:14 am on 12 April 2013

An inquest into the death of a mentally-ill man in a Samoan Prison has begun.

21 year old Perry Tuilaepa's body was found at Tafa'igata Prison in 2011, and the Police said that he had committed suicide.

But his family are disputing this finding, saying that something sinister was involved.

Our correspondent, Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia, says the case of a New Zealander who died in similar circumstances last year has bolstered the family's beliefs that foul play was involved.

"Because of the case of this gentleman from New Zealand after Cyclone Evan last year where one of the inmates is now accused of murder. The family of this gentleman has raised the question accusing the Police of not telling the truth and that's why the matter is now going to court."

The Samoa Observer reports that the inquest yesterday heard from inmates who said Mr Tuilaepa had gotten into a fight with a cellmate before he was found hanging in a bathroom.

The inquest has been adjourned until July to allow Pathologist from New Zealand to give evidence.