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Family asks coroner to recuse himself in inquest for mentally ill Kiwi found dead in Samoan prison

Nicholas and Natasha Dalton, with family lawyer Olinda Woodruffe
Source: New Zealand Herald

Auckland, NEW ZEALAND — The family of a mentally ill Kiwi man who died in suspicious circumstances in a Samoan prison has requested the coroner overseeing his inquest recuse himself.

They have also raised concerns about a suppression order protecting the identity of a senior clinical psychiatrist who treated him before the trip to Samoa.

Hans Dalton travelled with his family to the island country in December 2012. But while there they were confronted with Cyclone Evan, the worst tropical cyclone to hit the Pacific nation in 20 years.

He died on Boxing Day, 2012. He was found head-down in a 44-gallon water drum in a Samoan prison cell.

His family believes he was killed. Samoan authorities initially believed it was a suicide but later charged a man with murder. The accused man was acquitted and now the family is seeking civil damages in Samoa.

Read more at New Zealand Herald