Widow Cally Ruahe and family travelled to Tonga to see two
local police officers sentenced for manslaughter. Photo /
Almost two years have passed since Auckland police
constable Kali Fungavaka was killed.
But as two Tongan policemen found guilty of his manslaughter
sat in the courtroom, there was no escaping seeing his face -
on his four young children.
"I just wanted everyone, including the accused, to see that
these are the lives that have been affected," Cally Ruahe, Mr
Fungavaka's former wife and mother to his five children,
Ms Ruahe and four of her and Mr Fungavaka's five children
travelled to Tonga last week, where two local police officers
were due to be sentenced in the Tongan Supreme Court.
However, the sentence was delayed and will be given today, by
Justice Charles Cato.
Earlier this year, Tongan police inspector Kelepi Hala'ufia
and constable Salesi Maile were found guilty of manslaughter
after beating Mr Fungavaka while in a police cell in August
Mr Fungavaka had been in the country for his grandfather's
funeral and was in police custody after being arrested for
minor drunkenness outside a club in Nuku'alofa.
Another local officer, Fatai Faletau, was found guilty of the
lesser charge of assault on Mr Fungavaka and will be
sentenced later this month. Speaking to the Herald at the
family home yesterday, Ms Ruahe said they were hoping the
officers would be given a just sentence so they could finally
It had been a difficult decision to take the children, aged
between 9 and 14 years, last week. But she decided to do so,
so they could understand what had happened to their father
and so the two policemen could see how their actions had hurt
The children's striking resemblance to their father also
meant the officers would have to look into the eyes of the
man who had died by their hands.
- By Vaimoana Tapaleao of the New Zealand Herald