by Steven Ertelt
November 22, 2006
Suva, Fiji (LifeNews.com) — A Fiji abortion practitioner guilty of botching an abortion on a 20 year-old student that resulted in her death wants to introduce new evidence in his appeal. Former Fiji Medical Association president Sachidar Nand Mudaliar was found guilty in the death of student Poonam Kumar for a botched abortion he did on her in March 2003.
Officials found Kumar dead at Mudaliar’s abortion business in Nabua, after he left her overnight following her death.
Mudaliar has asked the Fiji Court of Appeal to introduce new evidence in the case when it hears the appeal next March.
Mudaliar’s lawyer and Queens Counsel John Haigh said police should have entered into evidence a note Mudaliar wrote that his former lawyer Mehboob Raza failed to bring forward.
He also said Raza failed to secure medical experts to testify on Mudaliar’s behalf, according to a Fiji Times news report.
However, assistant director of public prosecutions Raymond Gibson argued that if any further evidence exonerating Mudaliar existed at the time of the original trial that it would have been introduced. He said one doctor called to testify in the case changed his mind about defending Mudaliar.
But Mudaliar’s lawyers say another doctor has come up with an alternative reason to explain Kumar’s death.
Gibson said introducing new evidence would prevent the court system from administering fair trials and said that Mudaliar had connections with deep pockets who were able to find an Australian doctor to vouch for him.
Mudaliar’s lawyers are appealing his three year sentence on a conviction of manslaughter.
In the appeal papers, filed by Raza, he claimed the court and judge was biased against Mudaliar during the trial.
He indicated the trial was adjourned for 18 days after the Justice Anthony Gates indicated he had to leave the country on a trip. He also said the victim’s boyfriend was cited as an accomplice in the botched abortion, yet he was not charged in the case.
The Fiji Court of Appeal ruled in July that it would not grant bail for Mudlair.
Gates, in his ruling, said Mudaliar was guilty of botching the abortion and guilty of gross negligence in the case.
Gates said Mudaliar knew that Kumar was at risk if she underwent the abortion. She was 20 weeks pregnant at the time and had excessive bleeding and shock after the abortion. The abortion tore her uterus and led to the massive bleeding.
In his ruling, Gates cited Mudaliar’s failure to transfer Kumar to the intensive care unit at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital once he noticed the abortion went awry.