29 Apr 2015

Police acquitted in Tonga after three years

8:21 pm on 29 April 2015

Two police officers who have been facing manslaughter charges since 2012 have been acquitted in the Tonga Supreme Court.

Samisoni Taufa and Sosefo Masalu were suspended after the death of Inoke Pepa in Vaini in 2012 .

But Justice Charles Cato has ruled that the Crown has been unable to prove beyond reasonable doubt the accused were to blame for the man's death.

Radio Tonga reports the court accepted both men had aimed to arrest the deceased and some other boys who were intoxicated and disturbing the peace in Vaini.

Justice Cato says the Crown had done the right thing by bringing the charges and added it is in the greatest of society's interest that such allegations are tried in open court and are treated fairly.

There is a possibility both police officers will return to duty.