1 Mar 2013

Prosecution in Tonga closes case into death of NZ police officer

9:42 am on 1 March 2013

The prosecution has closed its case in the preliminary inquiry into the death of New Zealand police officer Kali Fungavaka and submitted there is a case for trial at the Supreme Court in Nuku'alofa, Tonga.

Matangi Tonga online reports the Magistrate is expected to make a decision next week.

Crown Prosecutor Sione Sisifa concluded with 23 witnesses out of the 32 that were initially set to be called in the Nuku'alofa Magistrate's Court on Monday, February 25.

After the four days inquiry he submitted to Magistrate Salesi Mafi there is a case for trial at Supreme Court.

The Magistrate adjourned to Tuesday, March 5 to give the defense counsel time to prepare for submissions before making his decision.

The six accused, who include five police officers and one civilian, are represented by defence counsel Mele Kioa, 'Ofa Pouono and Palu Taufateau.

Five months after the victim's death, the inquiry provided for the first time evidence as to what allegedly took place after the victim was arrested and detained on the 17th of August, last year.

The court heard from a New Zealand pathologist earlier this week about the victim's injuries including evidence of blows to the head and strangulation.