4 Sep 2012

Tongan Government launches own inquiry into death of NZ police officer

12:36 pm on 4 September 2012

The Tongan Government has launched its own inquiry into the death of a New Zealand police officer.

The Tongan police say Kali Fungavaka was assaulted in a police cell after his arrest on a charge of minor drunkenness outside a Nuku'alofa bar almost two weeks ago.

Two police officers Salesi Maili and Fatai Faletau have been bailed on a charge of common assault until they appear in court on October the 1st.

A civilian who also allegedly assaulted Mr Fungavaka remains in custody.

Tonga's Police Commissioner, Grant O'Fee, has met with the Prime Minister Lord Tu'ivakano.

Mr O'Fee says the Government inquiry will run alongside the two police investigations.

"I think this is a good thing. I think obviously we've got a way to go with rebuilding what public confidence there is in the police service in Tonga, It gives people assurance that not only this inquiry is open but the two inquiries are being professionally conducted as well."

Grant O'Fee says he is yet to see the terms of reference for the inquiry.