Samoa opposition wants prison murder case reopened
Tautua party in Samoa calls for case of murdered New Zealand prisoner to be reopened.
The leader of the opposition Tautua Party in Samoa is calling for the case of a New Zealander who died in a prison cell there to be reopened.
Jonathan Crichton was found not guilty of the murder of 38-year-old Hans Dalton last year, after Staff at Tafaigata prison found him dead in four litres of water on Boxing Day 2012.
The Tautua party leader, Palusalue Faapo II, told Christopher Gilbert the case needs to be resolved.
Palusalue Faapo: Justice has to be found so that it will be proven whoever did this to Mr Dalton. Whether it's the police or whatever happened there, there should be a proper investigation to find what really happened.
Christopher Gilbert: Why are you calling for this now?
PF: Well because the court case has proven that the person who has been accused of the murder has been proven that he wasn't the person who killed Mr Dalton. I believe that the justice system should be upheld. Because I believe the family now is planning to sue the government and I believe the government should look for whoever did this to Mr Dalton.
CG: Are they planning to sue the police?
PF: I heard on TV that the lawyer for the family has been saying this, that they're planning to sue the government for the crime that killed Mr Dalton.
CG: Why sue the police? Is it because they haven't found a culprit yet or is it because they're somehow accountable for Mr Dalton's death?
PF: Well all this has not been completely investigated to point the finger, whether it's a policeman or whoever did this to Dalton. It's been proven by the court that the accused was not guilty so I believe there should be someone responsible and be dealt with according to the law.
CG: Well two police officers were already sacked last year over this.
PF: I don't believe that's fully correct. The commissioner and the assistant commissioner, there was a commission of inquiry on other matters. But it wasn't included, the murder of Mr Dalton. So I believe the commissioner and the assistant commissioner was not accused of this crime after they've been suspended.
CG: If the family was to sue the police there would be some money in it for them?
PF: Yes, that's my concern. We're struggling and in terms of this case there will be a lot of money from government to be involved.
CG: Is it something Samoa cannot afford?
PF: Well we cannot afford this, that's my response. There are a lot of cases where the people are suing the government and the government are paying for these cases. So in terms of Dalton, I'm sure there will be a need for the government to come up with the money, which I'm sure we do not have.
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