Kiwi cop's body home today
The body of a Kiwi police officer killed in an assault in a Tongan prison is expected to return to New Zealand this afternoon.
Constable Kali Fungavaka died in hospital surrounded by family on Thursday night from injuries allegedly received at the hands of two Tongan police officers and another prisoner.
The officers and the inmate have been charged with assault, after Fungavaka was beaten in two separate incidents. He was in Tonga to attend his grandfather's funeral, but was arrested for drunkenness after he allegedly became involved in a bar fight.
Fungavaka's family, who come from South Auckland, described him as a "family man with four beautiful kids, who had just got married".
He was awarded a New Zealand Bravery Medal after he tried to save a woman set alight in Otahuhu. It was that experience which inspired him to join the police.
His wife Audra said she and all their children were at his bedside where he had been on life support for six days when he died on Thursday at 6.30pm local time.
Tongan Paper Matangi Tonga said Fungavaka's body had now been released back to the family following an autopsy.
"Tonga's Acting Deputy Police Commissioner Soakai Motu'apuaka said this morning that the body of Kali Fungavaka had been released to his family and taken to the Fua'amotu International Airport for return to New Zealand today", the paper reported.
It is understood Fungavaka and his family will arrive back in Auckland Airport at 1.30pm on an Air New Zealand flight.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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