More charges likely over Kiwi cop killed in Tonga
Fri, 24 Aug 2012 8:52a.m.
Tongan police say manslaughter or murder charges may be laid against a prisoner after a New Zealand policeman was fatally bashed in a Nuku'alofa cell.
But the upgraded charges are unlikely to be laid against two Tongan policemen who are also accused of assaulting Constable Kali Fungavaka last Friday in Nuku'alofa.
Const Fungavaka, 38, who worked in south Auckland and was in Tonga for his grandfather's funeral, was arrested following a minor drunkenness incident outside a bar.
He was allegedly assaulted by the two officers before being put in a cell where he was allegedly attacked again. Const Fungavaka died in a Tongan hospital on Thursday.
Kalisitiane Manu, who was in the police cell with Const Fungavaka, has been charged with "bodily harm" and is due to appear in court on Monday.
Assistant Police Commissioner Viliami `Unga Fa'aoa told the Matangi Tonga website that following Const Fungavaka's death, police would look at charging Manu with more serious charges such as manslaughter or murder.
The two policemen had also been arrested and are in custody but Mr `Unga said he did not believe they would also be investigated for murder or manslaughter.
Const Fungavaka was married and had four children. His family were with him when he died.
Police deputy operations commissioner Mike Bush described Const Fungavaka as an outstanding officer, while his colleagues said he was quiet, humble and passionate about his job.
Const Fungavaka was awarded a New Zealand Bravery Medal in 2006 for saving a burning woman set alight at an Auckland petrol station.
It was this incident that inspired him to join the police.
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27/08/2012 11:58:58 a.m.
It's a shame that this happened to a great man!
Unfortunately for him, Tonga's Policemen are the biggest bullies in the Tonga Island. It's normal for Police officers to arrest anyone they think or suspect of being drunk whether he's drunk or not and whether he's making any troubles or not. But the dangerous part of the Arrest is that IF THEY DON'T KNOW WHO YOU ARE they find it AMUSING to beat him up as a joke, the let them sleep the night and release them in the morning!
It is to my knowledge that if Fungavaka is truly respected by the NZ gov't, the They should take this case from the Tongan authorities! The 2 Policemen are the murderers! They were witnessed by many assaulting Fungavaka before putting him in the cell! I feel like the Tongan authority is blaming the inmate just to cover up the Police Department & the way they run things! If the Policemen won't get as much charges the they would keep doing what they do and get away with it!!! It's worse than it looks! cuz Most policemen in Tonga misuse their authority! But this time they made mistake and did it to a wrong person. someone who is known in NZ. Now Tonga might try to save it's reputation by directing most the story to the inmate instead of the two policemen who are really responsible for his death!!! cuz if you think about it, head injury??? only the policemen can cause that in a cell!
25/08/2012 8:04:20 a.m.
Fair NZer wrote:
Is this the norm in all Police Stations....eh?
24/08/2012 6:48:33 p.m.
Absolutely devastating for the family, police force and community! Why was this man picked on and so brutally beaten - did the Tongan police turn a blind eye also on this poor man being beaten in the cell? I think the family deserve answers on why this happened-no man should be killed this way while in police custody.
24/08/2012 3:43:21 p.m.
Robert Perham wrote:
This is my 1st Cousins husband, love you much cuz, see you when you get back, Arohanui kia koe.
24/08/2012 1:26:47 p.m.
Very sad incident that happened my question why didnt the tongan officer just dropped him off home instead of locking him up with a prisoner that killed him at least he would of slept it off at home and still be alive. Tongan policeman either should of taken him home and let him sleep it off or otherwise put him in a separate cell to sleep it off. I feel that the tongan police officer should think more carefully next time and it is so sad that he got killed which makes two now from his whanau so sad.
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