Defence lawyer in Samoa MMR case fails to attend court again

The manslaughter case against the two nurses has again been adjourned after the defence lawyer failed to attend court for the third time in a row.

V1Samoa reported that this raised the ire of Chief Justice Patu TIavasue Falefatu Sapolu who asked the nurses if they still wanted lawyer Lefau Harry Schuster to represent them.

He said the court had the authority to make a change in their legal representative if needed.

The nurses, Leuatogi Te'o and Luse Emo Tauvale, told the Supreme Court they still wanted the former parliamentarian to represent them.

As well as manslaughter, the nurses, who worked at Fagamalo Hospital in Savai'i, are charged with obstructing the course of justice and being lax in performing their duties.

This followed the deaths of two babies soon after they had been administered the rubella vaccinations last year.

The court was packed with the babies' families as well as those of the nurses.

The nurses earlier pleaded not guilty, and the matter has been adjourned until next week.