6 Jun 2014

Two Tonga police convicted of manslaughter

3:54 pm on 6 June 2014

A Tonga police inspector, Kelepi Hala'ufia, and a constable, Salesi Maile, have been convicted of manslaughter for the death of New Zealand policeman, Kali Fungavaka, in Nuku'alofa in 2012.

Matangi Tonga reports they have been remanded in custody for sentencing on July the 1st.

It says Justice Cato delivered his 66-page verdict to a full courtroom that included the Fungavaka family at the Supreme Court.

He found a third policeman, Fatai Faletau, guilty of assault and two other police have been acquitted.

A civilian Semisi Manu, who was in a cell with Mr Fungavaka, was convicted on a grievous bodily harm charge last week.

Mr Fungavaka, who had been in Tonga for his grandfather's funeral, was arrested outside a bar in Nuku'alofa and assaults resulting in multiple injuries occurred that night.

He died in Vaiola Hospital several days later.