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Vasyli Bids To Avoid Retrial

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Donna Vasyli outside the Court of Appeal yesterday where she was seeking to take her bid to fight a murder retrial to the Privy Council. Photo: Terrel W. Carey/Tribune Staff

By RICARDO WELLS

Tribune Staff Reporter

rwells@tribunemedia.net

THE Court of Appeal yesterday granted Donna Vasyli leave to pursue her case to the Privy Council in London as she fights against a retrial for the murder of her husband two years ago.

Vasyli, 57, had her guilty verdict concerning the March 24, 2015 murder of her Australian podiatrist husband, Phillip Vasyli, quashed by the Court of Appeal in August and a retrial was ordered.

One week later, she was granted $250,000 bail by the Supreme Court.

The Court of Appeal ruled yesterday that leave would be granted pursuant to the usual provisions, namely on the condition that Vasyli enter a security in the amount of $2,861 to furnish the cost of her application.

Additionally, Vasyli and her legal team would also be required to procure the preparation of all related records and have them dispatched to the Privy Council.

In the Court of Appeal’s 71-page judgment in August, President Justice Dame Anita Allen said she was of the view the jury was possibly left with the impression, as suggested by counsel for the prosecution in its closing address, that the appellant lied about her clothing and the functionality of the cameras to conceal the murder of her husband.

This, she said, resulted in a clear danger that the jury might regard the lies of the appellant as probative of her guilt and warranted the judge to give a Lucas direction on the significance of lies.

Justice Jon Isaacs expressed concern that manslaughter by provocation was not left to the jury as an option while Justice Stella Crane-Scott dissented on the necessity of a retrial entirely given the inconclusive state of the circumstantial evidence.

However, her colleagues believed a retrial was in the interest of justice.

Vasyli was initially convicted in October 2015 of stabbing to death her husband at their Old Fort Bay home.

She was later sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Vasyli was expected to be retried in January 2018.

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