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Writer accused of murder tells court the devil was responsible

Samoa courthouse
Compiled by Samoa News staff

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Author and poet Sia Figiel, accused of the murder of a fellow writer in Samoa, has told the Samoa court the devil persuaded her to commit the crime.

The 57-year-old is facing a total of five charges in relation to the death of poet, writer and academic Dr. Caroline Sinavaiana Gabbard late last month.

She appeared in the Samoan court on Monday,  June 17 and told the presiding judge that she no longer wants a lawyer and would like to represent herself, Talamua Online is reporting.

Figiel’s now former lawyer had earlier asked for a suppression order on publishing details of the incident and Figiel’s name.

However, she told the court she refuted the suppression applications because she is a writer and there was no reason not to publicize her name.

Her lawyer had also applied for a mental health assessment to be undertaken before pleading against the charges.

“Figiel again contested [the lawyer’s] application and told the court that it was the devil that persuaded her to commit the crime.”

“She wanted the court to issue her sentence [Monday] so the spirit of the deceased is free,” the Talamua report said.