Tongan Police Charged With Manslaughter After Fight

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Authorities withhold comment while case is before court

NUKUALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Nov. 19, 2012) – Three Tongan Police Constables have now been charged with manslaughter in regards to the death of 20-year-old 'Inoke Finau Vala Pepa, after a fight at Vaini early Friday morning, 16 November.

Police Commissioner Grant O'Fee said this afternoon, the third police officer was charged shortly after the first two police officers were charged on Friday, 16 November.

He identified the victim as 'Inoke Finau Vala Pepa, who was pronounced dead upon arrival at Vaiola Hospital, early last Friday morning. He also confirmed that the victim was not a guest at a party where the police officers were present before the incident.

The Commissioner did not provide any further details as to the circumstances of the incident, as the matter is now with court. The police officers are expected to appear at the Mu'a Magistrate's Court on Wednesday, November 21.

This is second incident involving police officers who allegedly assaulted civilians resulting in their deaths. The first was Kali Fungavaka a New Zealand Police officer who was assaulted in police custody, on August 17.

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