Tonga Manslaughter Case Scheduled For February 2013

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5 police, one inmate charged with death of New Zealand officer

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Nov. 5, 2012) – The preliminary inquiry into the manslaughter charges brought against five Tongan police officers and one civilian following the killing of New Zealand policeman, Kali Fungavaka, has been set to start in the last week of next February at the Nuku’alofa Magistrate’s Court.

Mr. Fungavaka died in police custody in late August a week after being assaulted following his arrest on a minor drunkenness charge.

The six are Kelepi Hala’ufia, who was the supervising officer on the night of the alleged assault, four constables Fatai Faletau, Salesi Maile, Manu Tu’ivai and Tevita Vakalahi, and civilian Semisi Manu.

Matangi Tonga reports the date for the preliminary inquiry was set when the six accused appeared in chambers at the Magistrate’s office on Friday morning.

All six have had their bail extended until the 25th of February next year.

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