23 Apr 2014

Tonga's Fungavaka trial told of fight in police cell

3:55 pm on 23 April 2014

Two witnesses have told the Tonga Supreme Court that a civilian Semisi Kalisitane Manu punched New Zealand police officer Kali Fungavaka causing him to fall and hit his head on the night he was held in police custody.

Mr Fungavaka died in August 2012 while in custody and five police officers are stand trial on manslaughter charges over the death.

Semisi Manu has also been charged and is to be tried separately.

Matangi Tonga reports the Crown Prosecutor intends calling 30 witnesses and on Tuesday Koniseti 'Akau'ola and Hengihengi Namomo gave evidence.

They had been detained in the same cell as Mr Fungavaka and Semisi Manu.

Both told the court Semisi Manu had teased Mr Fungavaka, calling him a deportee.

A fight ensued and Mr Fungavaka fell and hit his head on the concrete floor.