One of three men charged after the death of a former Auckland student has pleaded guilty to common assault, while two others face manslaughter charges.

Samoan resident Robert Ash appeared in the island nation's district court on Tuesday, where he pleaded guilty to a charge in relation to a separate incident involving the late Jeremiah Malaki Tauiliili.

Tauiliili, in his 20s, suffered severe head injuries when he was allegedly attacked by up to three people at a popular bar and restaurant in Apia in late November last year.

He would succumb to his injuries just a few days later on December 5.


Ash appeared in court wearing a white shirt and black tie.

His guilty plea is in connection to a separate incident involving Tauiliili on the same night, the Samoa Observer reported.

Ash is due to be sentenced on February 22.

Two other men, Herman Westerlund and Suapaina Savaiinaea, have both pleaded not guilty to manslaughter charges against them in relation to the death of Tauiliili, a father of one.

A hearing for the pair is scheduled to take place in Samoa on June 10, the newspaper said.

Tauiliili spent several years in New Zealand after being granted a scholarship to study here.

He was a student at Canterbury University for some time, before transferring to Auckland to be closer to his partner and their 3-year-old son.

Tauiliili graduated from the Auckland University of Technology in December 2017, with a Bachelor of Engineering Technology.


He had been working as a civil engineer for Samoa's Ministry of Works, Transport and Infrastructure at the time of his death.