Two Tongan men accused of murder over the death of another Tongan man Aleki (Alec) Moala in South Auckland has entered a not guilty plea and can now be publicly identified.
Sosaia Vaitohi, 26, and Metthuselak Talakai, 28, appeared briefly in the High Court at Auckland.
Both men were remanded in custody, New Zealand Herald reported.
Defence counsel Emma Priest said both had requested to attend their upcoming hearings in person.
Moala was 31, was married and had three children, his father told the Herald last month.
The reporting of the identities of the suspects came after it was revealed three Tongans had been charged and appeared in court last month in connection with the death of the 57-year-old Tongan mother Meliame Fisi’ihoi.
Falala’anga Momooni Iongi, Viliami Mounga He Ofa Iongi, and Manu Hori Iongi have all been charged with Fisi’ihoi’s murder, as well as intending to cause grievous bodily harm to three others by shooting a gun at them, two weeks prior to her death.
Fisi’ihoi died on January 15, 2020. Her body was found following reports of a gunshot at her house in Favona, south Auckland.