Widow of NZ cop killed in Tongan police custody paid an 'undisclosed settlement'

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The Tongan government has paid an undisclosed settlement amount to the widow of New Zealand police officer Kali Fungavaka, who was killed after being in police custody in 2012.

Mr Fungavaka had been in Tonga for a family funeral in August 2012 when he was arrested for a minor disorderly incident.

He died after three policemen and a civilian assaulted him in police cells.

His widow, Audra Watts, took a civil case against the Government.

Kali Fungavaka

Source: YouTube

A Tongan man has been found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm.
Source: 1 NEWS

Earlier this month Tonga's Supreme Court declared that the policemen's actions were a breach of Mr Fungavaka's constitutional rights to life, liberty and freedom.

As a result of the court declaration, the Crown agreed to pay Ms Watts a settlement.

Ms Watts' lawyer Frank Hogan told ONE News that his client is pleased the Kingdom of Tonga has eventually recognised the rights of her cause.

He says she acknowledges the five children of her late husband are entitled to some of the settlement.

Within the next month, she will take steps to set up a trust for them.

In a statement, Tonga's acting Attorney General Aminiasi Kefu says the Crown is doing everything it possibly can to train police officers to avoid a repeat of this tragic incident.

Mr Fungavaka was a constable with Counties Manukau Police. 

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