6 Jul 2009

Another Samoa murder case ends in mistrial

1:35 pm on 6 July 2009

A second murder case in Samoa in two weeks has been declared a mistrial after the accused, Laki Nauer, withdrew his defence lawyer because of not being given the chance to testify against the prosecution's 14 witnesses.

Mr Nauer is facing one count of murder after the death of a young man, Faleni Viavia, who was shot twice by the accused three years ago following a car race.

The Chief Justice, Patu Tiava'asu'e Falefatu Sapolu, has granted a request by the accused for a government paid lawyer to take over his defence because he could not afford to pay for one.

Two weeks ago, the murder trial of a former police officer, Tiumalumanaia Filipo Langkilde, was declared a mistrial because of a conflict of interest and a challenge of the credibility of two assessors.