26 Apr 2010

Traditional healers in Samoa escape a jail sentence after death of sick woman

6:28 am on 26 April 2010

A couple in Samoa ,who perform traditional healing, have been found guilty of causing actual bodily harm, but had charges of manslaughter and witchcraft dismissed.

The case relates to the the death of a 37 year old woman they treated in 2008.

Sera and Felaia'i Lavasii were charged by the police after they treated the sick woman by placing her in a container half filled with boiling water, to chase away demons.

However the traditional treatment caused severe burns which resulted in her death.

The two counts of witchcraft and manslaughter were dismissed because of a lack of evidence, but the couple was found guilty of causing actual bodily harm.

The presiding judge has convicted the woman to probation for 18 months plus fifty hours of community work, but her husband has been discharged without a conviction.