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PNG: Police waiting for autopsy report on Post-Courier journalist's death

Sudden death of former Post-Courier journalist Rosalyn Albaniel Evara ... "All we need right now is to see the copy of the autopsy report". Image: Post-Courier

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Item: 10032

By Helen Tarawa
PORT MORESBY (The National/Pacific Media Watch): Investigations into the cause of death of former Post-Courier business editor Rosalyn Albaniel Evara is continuing, criminal investigation division chief Sergeant Ulagish Mantu says.

Mantu told The National that the CID was still awaiting a copy of the final report of the autopsy from the doctor concerned.

He said police had statements from witnesses and Evara’s husband also provided one.

“The investigation is continuing. We’re gathering all the witness statements. We started off with the relatives of the Albaniel family and we’ve got statements from witnesses at the Post-Courier compound in Boroko where Avara lived,” Mantu said.

“We are still waiting for one of the witnesses, the one who took her to the hospital after she returned from Kavieng.

“We are also waiting for a statement from a witness from the National Fisheries Authority who she travelled with to Kavieng.”

Evara, 41, died on October 15 at the Port Moresby General Hospital. A death certificate showed that she was brought to the hospital after she had collapsed that afternoon. She had been complaining of headaches the previous day.

Violence against women
An aunt, Mary Albaniel, produced pictures of her body during her funeral service allegedly showing injuries and bruises.

The allegations Evara had been a victim of violence sparked anger over violence against women and were accompanied by calls for the silence on the issue to be broken.

Mantu said they had gathered most of the information from witnesses and the investigation was coming to a close.

He said they were still waiting for the full autopsy report from the doctor.

“We have not been given a copy. We need to have a look at the report and make adjustments,” Mantu said.

“I heard that the full autopsy report was given to the coroner because it’s a sensitive issue.

“We will go through the report and decide whether to refer the case to the coroner or take further action.

Autopsy results needed
“All we need right now is to see the copy of the autopsy report,” Mantu said.

PNG’s chief pathologist Dr Seth Fose had carried out the autopsy and submitted his preliminary report to the coroner a few days later.

Dr Fose's preliminary report has sparked calls for an independent review, after he ruled Evara's death as undetermined due to embalming and decomposition.

Mantu said the CID has also received a statement from Evara’s husband and that they had looked at it.

It is understood that the final report will be released soon.

Helen Tarawa is a reporter with The National.

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