27 Aug 2012

Alleged role of Tongan police in New Zealand officer's death in spotlight

3:35 pm on 27 August 2012

The Tongan Police Commissioner says the two inquiries into the death of a New Zealand police officer will include investigations into the role two Tongan officers allegedly played in the incident.

Two Tongan officers charged with assaulting Mr Fungavaka, have been remanded in custody after making a brief appearance in court today.

A civilian has been charged with murder.

Mr Fungavaka died in a Nuku'alofa hospital last Thursday.

The Police say he had been assaulted in a police cell after being arrested on a minor drunkenness charge.

The Commissioner Grant O'Fee says the homicide and police conduct investigations will be robust.

"The public are reassured that the investigation is as I've just described and not just looking at people other than police officers. I understand people make allegations and sometimes these are substantiated and sometimes they are not, but most certainly this will be a very detailed and very probing investigation and we will not be holding back on that at all."

Grant O'Fee says the Australian Federal Police will review the inquiries once they have been completed.