Tongan police say manslaughter or murder charges may be laid against a prisoner after a New Zealand policeman was fatally bashed in a Nuku'alofa cell.
But the upgraded charges are unlikely to be laid against two Tongan policemen who are also accused of assaulting Constable Kali Fungavaka last Friday in Nuku'alofa.
Const Fungavaka, 38, who worked in south Auckland and was in Tonga for his grandfather's funeral, was arrested following a minor drunkenness incident outside a bar.
He was allegedly assaulted by the two officers before being put in a cell where he was allegedly attacked again. Const Fungavaka died in a Tongan hospital on Thursday.
Kalisitiane Manu, who was in the police cell with Const Fungavaka, has been charged with "bodily harm" and is due to appear in court on Monday.
Assistant Police Commissioner Viliami `Unga Fa'aoa told the Matangi Tonga website that following Const Fungavaka's death, police would look at charging Manu with more serious charges such as manslaughter or murder.
The two policemen had also been arrested and are in custody but Mr `Unga said he did not believe they would also be investigated for murder or manslaughter.
Const Fungavaka was married and had four children. His family were with him when he died.
Police deputy operations commissioner Mike Bush described Const Fungavaka as an outstanding officer, while his colleagues said he was quiet, humble and passionate about his job.
Const Fungavaka was awarded a New Zealand Bravery Medal in 2006 for saving a burning woman set alight at an Auckland petrol station.
It was this incident that inspired him to join the police.