All six accused against Fungavaka’s death to stand trial, Supreme Court rules

A Supreme Court judge in Nuku’alofa overturned the decision by the magistrate court to release three police officers who had been charged in relation to the death of New Zealand policeman Kali Fungavaka.

The three police constables, Fatai Faletau, Tevita Vakalahi and Manu Tu'ivai, were released in April by Magistrate Salesi Mafi saying he found insufficient evidence against them.

One of the accused charged by the police and upheld by the magistrate court was Police Inspector Hala’ufia. Hala’ufia appealed his prosecution.

Supreme Court of Appeal Judge Cato said, “The respondents are committed for trial and the appeal by Hala’ufia is dismissed,"

All six males, five policemen and a civilian,  were ordered to be bailed out and they will appear in court on August 5 to decide a date for trial.

Mr Fungavaka was in Tonga to attend his grandfather’s funeral. He ended up in one of the restaurant bars in Nuku’alofa where he was arrested and allegedly beaten to death by the six accused.

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