Acquitted for murder, guilty for manslaughter in death of Sione Feimoefiafi

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The victim, Sione Fiemoefiafi. Photo: Facebook

By Kalafi Moala

 

Nuku’alofa, Tonga – Three men were acquitted for murder but found guilty for the lesser charge of manslaughter in the death of Sione Feimoefiafi, 49, of Puke and USA, when he was fatally injured at the Tali’eva Bar in Nuku’alofa on 4 February 2019.

Vilaketi Bloomfield, 48, Kona’i Bloomfield, 43, and Siafa Nai, 39, were found guilty by Supreme Court Judge Cato on 16 September 2020. The trial was by judge alone. The three men were detained for sentencing on 16 October, 2020.

Five men were charged for the murder, manslaughter, and causing of grievous bodily harm to Sione Feimoefiafi.

But two of the accused, Tangi Tiufilusi Nai and Sione Bloomfield had pleaded guilty for common assault at the beginning of the trial which began on 31 August and ended on September 11. The verdict was reserved for September 16.

Both Tangi Nai and Sione Bloomfield were found guilty of a lesser charge of common assault, and were released on bail until their sentencing next month.

The Court heard that Sione Feimoefiafi was knocked down in the bar, and then dragged outside, kicked, and stomped on his head repeatedly, causing his death.

The victim was from the village of Puke to the west of Nuku’alofa. He lived in Portand, USA, and was visiting family in Tonga.

All the accused and including the victim had gone to the Tali’eva Bar to watch the Superbowl live on TV.

The beating that the victim suffered was recorded live on video and shown at the trial as evidence.

Semisi Lutui acted for the Crown, while Sifa Tu’utafaiva represented Siafā Nai, and brothers Sione, Vilaketi, and Kona’i Bloomfield. Fatai Vaihu was lawyer for Tangi Nai.

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