Judge questions charges in Tongan death
Mon, 27 Aug 2012 1:13p.m.
A Tongan judge has questioned why two Tongan policeman have not been charged with the murder of New Zealand policeman, who was fatally bashed after being arrested in Nuku'alofa earlier this month.
Constable Fungavaka, 38, who was in Tonga for his grandfather's funeral, was arrested following a minor drunkenness incident on August 17. He was allegedly assaulted by two officers before being put in a cell where he was allegedly attacked again.
The South Auckland police officer died in hospital last Thursday.
Semisi Kalisitiane Manu, the man charged with murdering Kali Fungavaka, appeared in Nuku'alofa Magistrate's Court today.
Magistrate Pita Soakimi asked why only Manu had been charged with murder while the two policemen - named as Salesi Maile and Fatai Faletau - had not been similarly charged.
The three would now be arguing who was responsible for the death, he said.
Police prosecutor Mema Latu said the two policemen were charged with common assault while police continued their investigation.
Further examination on the victim's body would be carried out in New Zealand, he said.
The three men were remanded in custody to reappear on September 24.
Const Fungavaka's body was returned to New Zealand on Saturday.
He was awarded a New Zealand Bravery Medal in 2006 for saving a burning woman at an Auckland petrol station, an incident which prompted him to join the police.
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6/09/2012 7:50:04 p.m.
Lorraine Noske wrote:
Condolences to family ,justice is Mine saith The Lord ..Bail !! Unbelievable !
29/08/2012 8:15:31 a.m.
I agree with sita I was reading other articles that state the reason why the cops weren't charged is because they assaulted him before he was put into the cells that is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard Kali could of had injuries prior to so they could of prevented this tragedy. If these two cops get a light sentence and not loose their jobs then anyone can get away with anything. Another article says if its not beyond the bounds of normal police behavior "common assault " is not a sacking Offence so basically they are saying its not a big deal my goodness a innocent mans life was taken and only one of three men was charged so far ... If that doesn't spell out corrupt then I'm dumbfounded... No one should get off easy I don't care if you were the king or queen everyone should be responsible for their own stupidity....
27/08/2012 2:23:29 p.m.
Sita Sema wrote:
I am so sorry, but I can't believe this Tongan guy "Semisi Manu" did what he did alone by himself and ended up with Kali's death. Come on Tongan people. We are not stupid, Ok? Police involved in Kali's death. If I have to come to Tonga with an attorney and professional investigation team, we would know what happened and Tonga Island would no longer be known as a Friendly Island but would be known as an Island in the South Pacific as a very corrupted government with their law enforcement people included. In another word, Not a safe place to travel to.You would end you dead.
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