22 Jul 2013

Dozens of Tonga students remain in custody after attack

3:58 pm on 22 July 2013

About half of the 147 school students arrested in relation to an attack on a rival school are to remain in custody while the police continue investigations.

The police say ex-Tonga College student, 22 year old Taniela Halahuni, remains in a critical condition following Friday's attack from rival school Tupou College.

Current Tonga College student, 15 year old Daniel Mahe Jr, is in a stable condition.

The police commissioner Grant O'Fee says the arrested students have been charged in relation to property damage, but no new charges have been laid as yet.

"Around about half of them we've still got some investgation to do with, so we've got more stuff to do with in relation to the others. The investigation is going better than I hoped, and I don't want to enlarge on that, but we've got quite a good line of information and we're just progressing that as we speak...It's no longer a school yard scrap, it's really serious criminal offending, well very top of the range criminal offending we're looking at here. So we're not talking about a black eye and nose, this is very serious offending."

The Tonga police commissioner, Grant O'Fee, says the rivalry between the two schools goes back decades.