5 Feb 2014

Samoa Judge overturns guilty verdict against murder suspect of NZ man

11:52 am on 5 February 2014

A Supreme Court Judge in Samoa has acquitted a murder suspect, Jonathan Patrick Crichton, who was charged after the death of a New Zealand man at Tafaigata prison in December 2012.

The 38 year old mentally ill victim, Hans Dalton, was found dead in a 44-gallon drum of water.

The Judge Lesatele Rapi Vaai's decision comes after a panel of four assessors on Tuesday delivered a guilty verdict after less than two hours of deliberation.

The deceased's mother, who was present during the whole trial, has accepted the acquittal because she believes the death of her son was the result of the prison police breaching their duties.

The presiding judge will deliver his reasons behind his decision against the assessor's verdict on Friday.