All three people, including two police officers, allegedly involved in a fatal assault on New Zealand constable Kali Fungavaka in Tonga have now been charged with manslaughter.
Otahuhu-based Fungavaka had been in Tonga for the funeral of his grandfather and on August 17 had gone to Nuku'alofa's Time Out bar.
He was arrested for drunkenness later that evening and was allegedly assaulted by two Tongan constables, Salesi Maile and Fatai Faletau.
When they put him in the police cells an inmate, Semisi Kalisitiane Manu, then also allegedly assaulted Fungavaka.
He died in hospital a week later and was being buried today.
Manu was charged with the capital offence of murder and the two constables with simple assault.
But Tonga Commissioner Grant O'Fee said today the charges had been changed. In the case of Manu, the murder charge was reduced to manslaughter and charges faced by Maile and Faletau were lifted to manslaughter.
When the three appear before a Nuku'alofa magistrate on Monday they will also all face charges of causing grievous bodily harm. They all remain in custody and the policemen are suspended without pay.
Tongan police will tonight stage a major operation outside Time Out to find witnesses.
"It is just like a homicide in New Zealand, we are just writing the first few chapters in a long book," said O'Fee, a former New Zealand police officer.
He agreed that the mood within the Tongan police force was gloomy. "It is not what anyone wants," he said.
"There is not going to be any winners out of this at all. My focus is that we do a professional thorough investigation and that we get it right."
He said it was plain more training was needed.
"I have been approached by people in the last 10 days and it's quite apparent some people are scared of Tongan police officers. It is not where we want to be. Policing by fear is not policing at all."
O'Fee said "good decent people" were fearful of the Tongan police.
"As I am saying to all my staff, it has got to stop. Policing by fear was tried in the 30s and it didn't work at all."
O'Fee has only recently taken up the new post in Tonga.
"I hadn't anticipated moving quite this fast; it is what you sign up for, you take the good with the bad."
Guard of honour
Police officers formed a guard of honour outside the south Auckland church where Fungavaka's funeral was being held today.
Around 1000 people attended the funeral, including at least 200 uniformed officers.
His brother-in-law, Constable Saul Peau, said Fungavaka inspired him to join the police force.
"He was a hero. Everyone loved him in the police," Peau said.
Last Saturday, hundreds of off-duty police officers arrived at Auckland Airport to pay their respects as Fungavaka's body returned home.
Today's funeral service was held at the LDS Stake centre in Otara.