20 Mar 2019

Defence lawyer in Samoa MMR case fails to attend court again

10:33 am on 20 March 2019

The manslaughter case against two Samoan nurses has again been adjourned after the defence lawyer failed to attend court for the third time in a row.

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Photo: 123rf

TV1Samoa reported that this raised the ire of Chief Justice Patu TIavasue Falefatu Sapolu who asked the nurses if they still wanted lawyer Lefau Harry Schuster to represent them.

He said the court had the authority to make a change in their legal representative if needed.

The nurses, Leuatogi Te'o and Luse Emo Tauvale, told the Supreme Court they still wanted the former parliamentarian to represent them.

The pair, who worked at Fagamalo Hospital in Savai'i, are charged with manslaughter, obstructing the course of justice and being lax in performing their duties.

This followed the deaths of two babies soon after they had been administered with the rubella vaccinations last year.

The court was packed with the babies' families as well as those of the nurses.

The nurses had earlier pleaded not guilty.

The matter has been adjourned until next week.

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