Tongan man sent back to Australia to face trial over 1990 murder

    Rita Caleo and her brother Dr Michael Chye were killed in 1990s. Photo/NSW Police


    A Tongan man has been deported to Australia to face the trial for the murder of Rita Caleo, 39, who was stabbed to death in the main bedroom metres away from where her daughters slept on August 1990.

    Her brother, Dr Michael Chye, 36, was found murdered in his garage with two gunshot wounds to his head in October 1989.

    The Tongan national was expected to be charged with Mrs Caleo’s murder in the cold-case investigation.

    Police believe he was the hitman and was driven to and from the home by one of two men accused of organising the murder.

    Those two men were arrested in August 2014 and February this year, Australian media reported.

    One of them was Mark Caleo, 52, Rita’s former husband and he was charged with two counts of both murder and solicit to murder and organising the deaths of his wife Rita Caleo and her brother, Dr Michael Chye.

    The Tongan man was arrested in the kingdom on September 30. He had been  deported from Australia in the 1990s over a robbery offence.

    His name has not released for legal reasons. He is due to face court at the end of this month.

    An inquest into Dr Chye’s death in 1991 found that he and his sister and a man had been involved in a dispute over a $3.6 million waterfront property at Blakehurst, in Sydney’s south.

    During the investigation into the double murder, Police received a letter from Mrs Caleo’s solicitor in which she implicated two suspects in the organisation of her brother’s murder.

    According to Australian media, Mrs Caleo handed the letter to her solicitor on May 1990.

    In the envelope a note was stapled in the front saying: “To be opened only if my death has been deemed unnatural”.

    Police offered AU$50,000 (TP$82,000) reward money for any information about Mr Chye’s murder.

    The NSW Unsolved Homicide Team reopened the case in 2011.

    The main points

    • A Tongan man has been deported to Australia to face the trial for the murder of Rita Caleo, 39, who was stabbed to death in the main bedroom metres away from where her daughters slept on August 1990.
    • Her brother, Dr Michael Chye, 36, was found murdered in his garage with two gunshot wounds to his head in October 1989.
    • The Tongan national was expected to be charged with Mrs Caleo’s murder in the cold-case investigation.
    • Police believe he was the hitman and was driven to and from the home by one of two men accused of organising the murder.

    1 COMMENT

    1. Kuo fakafoki fakapuleʻanga hake ha tangata Tonga ki ʻAositelēlia ke hopoʻi ki he mate ʻa Rita Caleo, 39 ʻa ia ne hoka heleʻi ʻo mate ʻi he loki mohe ne mamaʻoʻaki pe ha lau mita mei he loki ne mohe ai hono ngaahi ʻofefiné ʻi ʻAokosi 1990.

      Ne muʻaki fakapoongi foki hono tuongaʻané, Dr Michael Chye hili ia hano maʻu atu kuo mate ʻi heʻene tauʻanga kaá pea ʻi ai ha foʻi fana ʻe ua ne fai ki hono ʻulú i ʻOkatopa 1989.

      ʻOku ʻamanaki fakaʻilo ʻa e tokotaha Tonga ko ʻeni ʻa ia ʻoku ʻikai tuku ki tuʻa hono hingoá ʻi he ʻuhinga fakalao ki hono fakapoongi ʻo Rita peá ʻe hā ai ʻi he fakamaauʻangá ʻi he fakaʻosinga ʻo e māhina ní.

      Ne muʻaki fakafoki fakapuleʻanga ʻa e tokotaha ni mei ʻAositelēlia ki Tonga ʻi he 1990 tupu foki koeʻuhi ko haʻana fakahoko ha hia kaihaʻa.

      Kuo ʻosi puke ʻe he kau Polisí mo ha toko ua kehe ʻi ʻAokosi ʻo e taʻu kuo ʻosí mo Fēpueli ʻo e taʻu ní ki he kaungā fakapō mo hono totongiʻi ʻo ha tokotaha ke fakahoko ha fakapō.

      Ko e taha ʻo e tokoua ko ʻení ko Mark Caleo 52, ʻa ia ko e mali ia ki muʻa ʻo Rita.

      Ko Rita mo Michael ko e ongo Maleisia pea ko e Polisi ʻena tangataʻeikí ʻo ne maʻu ha tuʻunga māʻolunga heʻene ngāue pea ne hoko ai e keisi ko ʻeni ki hona fakapoongi ko ha ongoongo lahi ia ʻi ʻAositelēlia mo Maleisia.

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