Appeal over Kiwi's death in Tonga

MICHAEL FIELD
Last updated 14:40 16/05/2013
BASHED: Kali Fungavaka
BASHED: Kali Fungavaka

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Tongan police have appealed against a decision to discharge three of the six men accused of the manslaughter of a New Zealand police officer last year.

Constable Kali Fungavaka died in hospital in Nuku'alofa after being assaulted in custody following his arrest for drunkenness.

The Matangi Tonga news website reported today that two policemen and a man who was a cell inmate appeared in the Supreme Court before visiting Auckland judge Justice Cato.

Constable Salesi Maile, Inspector Kelepi Hala'ufia and civilian Semisi Kalisitiane Manu were due for trial, but Justice Cato said he could not set a date until appeals had been dealt with.

The court heard that the Tongan police were appealing against a decision in a lower court by Magistrate Salesi Mafi to release another three police constables from facing the charge on the grounds of insufficient evidence.

Justice Cato said the appeals would be heard on June 24.

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