Tongan fruit picker charged with murder in Australia after Vanuatu man’s death

A Tongan man has been charged with murder after a male Vanuatu fruit picker was killed at a Riverland farm in Adelaide on August 2.

Kaniva Tonga News

Manu Vi, 25, faced the Adelaide Magistrates Court on Tuesday by video link, and has yet to plead to one count of murder, the Queensland Times online has reported.

The charge arises from an incident at Paringa, 260km north east of Adelaide, on August 2.

Vi was originally charged with manslaughter after his alleged victim, a 29-year-old Vanuatu national, did not show up for work the day after the incident.

The Vanuatu man was found unresponsive in his cabin that night and rushed to hospital, but died two days later.

On Tuesday, police prosecutors said the charges against Vi were subsequently upgraded to murder, the paper said.

The Magistrate Court has postponed the case until May to allow the investigators to complete their tasks including getting people to do translation works.

“There was a fight, the victim intervened and has taken a blow to the face which has, ultimately, killed him,” the report said.

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