Thursday, March 23, 2023


Donna Vasyli: The Timeline That Led to Her Acquittal in Australian Tycoon’s Murder Case

Donna Vasyli, 62, the woman accused of killing her Australian tycoon husband Philip Vasyli, a well-known podiatrist and businessman, was acquitted of his murder late Thursday after fighting the charge for eight years in Bahamian courts.

The nine-member jury returned a ‘not-guilty’ verdict and she is free.

Here is a timeline of the major events related to the case:

March 24, 2015

Dr Philip Vasyli was discovered dead with four stab wounds on the kitchen floor of the guest house on his Old Fort Bay property. One stab wound was found in the chest, which was estimated to be 14 centimeters deep.

A pathologist said the knife slit his subclavian artery, and he most likely stumbled to the kitchen after being stabbed on his patio.

A house worker found him seven hours later after his death.


Donna Vasyli still in legal limbo over the murder of her Australian tycoon husband Phil Vasyli's Bahamas murder | 7NEWS

March 30, 2015

Donna, represented by Bahamian famed lawyer Murrio Ducille was arraigned in a Magistrate’s Court on a murder charge after 34 years of marriage to Philip. At the end of her arraignment, she was not given bail because Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson did not have the jurisdiction to do so.

April 2, 2015

Donna made a bail application in the Supreme Court but was denied by Senior Justice Stephen Isaacs, who was not satisfied that she should be granted bail at the time. Ducille was given the option to appeal the ruling in the Court of Appeal.

November 10, 2015

Donna was sentenced to 20 years in prison but her legal team promised to challenge the guilty verdict. Lawyers said she felt “betrayed by the jurors who convicted her with no evidence.”

In a police interview, Donna told authorities that Philip was drinking heavily with his trousers hanging before he fell down a flight of stairs. She had warned him that house guests were soon to arrive at the house. Her defense team argued that a few hours later, he was found dead.

Her lawyers claimed that the marriage was in ruins because of domestic abuse and Phil’s abuse of alcohol and cocaine.

Wife of Philip Vasyli charged with his murder (with video) | The Tribune

July 25, 2017

Donna’s legal team appealed and the Court of Appeal quashed her 20-year sentence. She was ordered a new case and it was sent back to the Supreme Court.

One ground for the retrial was confusion over the clothing she wore the night of the murder. Donna said she wore two different outfits but neither was a multicolored dress the prosecution said she wore and placed in a closet, that contained blood from Philip.

She was released on 250,000 dollar bail until her new trial.

Closing arguments in Vasyli case | The Tribune

October 22, 2020

The Court of Appeal ordered a second trial. Donna attended the hearing, virtually.

October 12, 2022

It was announced that the case was back on as prosecutors say she had a case to answer. A date was not set but nine jurors were selected and she was expected to stand before Justice Bernard Turner.

March 9, 2023

Following five months of trial which was closed to the public, Donna was cleared of the murder charge when a unanimous verdict was given by a nine-member jury. She was represented by Damien Gomez KC, KD Knight and Owen Wells. Wells said Donna was “relieved.”

Featured Photo: Keith Gomez of Freelance Media Group

Donna Vasyli: What You Need to Know About the Retrial in Murder of Australian Tycoon Husband

The trial of Donna Vasyli is back on as prosecutors believe she has a case to answer. They believe she is responsible for the death of her husband Dr Philip Vasyli, who was found dead on March 24, 2015 in the kitchen of their home in Old Fort Bay.

Though a date has not yet been set, nine jurors have been selected and she will stand before Justice Bernard Turner.

Who was Philip Vasyli?

Philip Vasyli, 59, was a well-known Australian podiatrist who was the founder of Vasyli International, later changed to Vionic Group. He invented a line of orthotics known as Orthaheel in 1991 and was from the city of Sydney. He owned two homes in Old Fort Bay, Nassau Bahamas and established a medical office in Old Fort Bay Towne Centre.

Philip established three sports podiatry clinics in Sydney and was known to friends as a ‘born healer’.

Friends said he had a passion for making orthotic treatment more affordable and accessible to people in need of pain relief.

The orthotic technology is used in shoes and inserts sold in 25 countries including the USA and the UK.

What happened in 2015

The doctor was found stabbed to death in his Old Fort Bay home. Philip was found lying in a pool of blood on the floor of the guesthouse kitchen. A single stab wound was found in the chest, estimated to be 14 centimeters deep.

The pathologist said the knife cut his sub-clavian artery. It was likely he was stabbed while sitting on the patio, and then he stumbled into the kitchen where he died. A worker found him seven hours later.

What happened at Donna Vasyli’s Defense Trial

Donna, married to Philip for 34 years, was charged with his murder but her defense team never admitted guilt only claiming that the marriage was in ruins caused by domestic abuse and Phil’s alcohol and cocaine abuse.

Donna was found guilty and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

However, her sentence was quashed in 2017 by justices in the Appeals Court. She was released and ordered a new trial.

Vasyli then went to the highest court, the Privy Council to appeal the justices’ decision.

Her first retrial order was quashed and was ordered a new appeal. She was eventually granted a new trial. The final decision was made and she was ordered to stand trial for her husband’s death.