27 May 2013

Samoan man found guilty of murder on DNA evidence

7:16 am on 27 May 2013

One of five men in Samoa accused of killing a man whose skeleton was not discovered until a year after his death has been jailed for life.

The other four co-defendants have been acquitted.

Lemoli Niko was found guilty of the murder of Mikaele Tumua, of Faleasi'u village.

Police said the murder took place on 26th April 2010 but that the body of Tumua, by then a skeleton, was not found until 3rd June 2011.

The case is the first of its kind in Samoa where DNA tests and samples were sent to New Zealand to clarify whether the skeleton was that of Tumua.

A forensic specialist from New Zealand, Timothy Powell, attended the trial in Samoa earlier this month and confirmed the identity of the skeleton.