Fiji Judges Order New Trial for Abortion Practitioner Who Killed Woman
by Steven Ertelt
October 21, 2008
Suva, Fiji (LifeNews.com) — A panel of three judges in Fiji has ordered a new trial for an abortion practitioner accused of killing a woman in a botched abortion in March 2003. Sachida Mudaliar was previously found guilty in the death of student Poonam Kumar from a botched abortion he did on her.
Mudaliar’s lawyers appealed his three year sentence on a conviction of manslaughter and claim he did not receive a fair trial.
The attorneys claimed the court and judge were biased.
According to the Fiji Daily Post, on Wednesday, the panel of judges, including Justice Keith Mason, Justice Kenneth Handley and Justice Mark Weinberg ordered a new trial.
The judges ruled the previous trial was unfair and that both Justice Anthony Gates and the Fiji Court of Appeal failed to consider testimony from abortion practitioners from other nations.
They set aside the manslaughter sentence and ordered a new trial.
Mudaliar’s attorneys also claimed in their legal papers that the trial was adjourned for 18 days after Judge Gates indicated he had to leave the country on a trip. They 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 government argued the state proved its case and that an appeal is not warranted.
Officials found Kumar dead at Mudaliar’s abortion business in Nabua, after he left her overnight in his abortion business following her death.
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.
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