Vava’u man ‘Inoke Tonga, 27, appeared in the Mu’a Magistrate Court today May 19 charged with the murder of Polikalepo Kefu, 41.
Tonga is expected to reappear at the Magistrate court in June 2.
It was alleged Kefu and the suspect were at the beach near Tatakamotonga on May 1 before the incident occurred.
Tonga turned himself into Police the same day after realising they have his identity.
Detectives identified Tonga as a person of interest after interviews and a canvass of the area.
Kefu was laid to rest last week after postmortem tests were completed.
His violent death has shocked the local and international community.
It has also triggered calls to redefine LGBT name according to its Tongan context and to revise laws about homosexuality which is still considered illegal. Though rarely enforced, it still carries a maximum prison term of 10 years.
Tonga does not recognize same-sex unions in any form.