4 Jul 2012

Name suppression lifted in Samoa case of indecent assault

3:52 pm on 4 July 2012

A Supreme Court judge in Samoa has enforced a Court of Appeal ruling made five years ago discharging a name suppression order for a prominent medical doctor charged with indecent assault.

The Court of Appeal order has also opened up the court proceedings for the media and the public to attend.

The first hearing of the case seven years ago was closed to the media and the public because of an order by the chief justice who presided over the case at the time.

Dr Emosi Puni was acquitted but an appeal by the prosecution against the decision was upheld back in 2007 with an order for a retrial before another judge.

The retrial is continuing this week with the complainant being cross examined through a video link from New Zealand where she now lives with her family.

The victim had filed a complaint to the police alleging she was sexually assaulted by the doctor during a pregnancy test at the privately owned Medcen hospital in July 2005.

The defendant was the director of the private hospital at the time of the alleged incident.