New Zealand police have revealed the extent of the police’s involvement in the investigation into the death of a homeless man in 2015, which sparked widespread protests across the country.
The police, who did not respond to requests for comment, said on Friday they had identified more than 100 potential witnesses and had conducted more than 70 interviews.
A key witness was a man who had been sleeping rough in a homeless shelter at the time of the killing, but was later found dead in his tent at the end of January.
Police also revealed details of a possible struggle that took place between the man and a police officer before he died.
It has also emerged that police were on the scene before the incident took place, and that a body bag containing the victim’s body was found nearby.
However, police did not disclose how the man’s body had been removed.
Detective Inspector Peter Fonseca said the investigation had been hindered by a lack of information, and the fact the man was homeless.
“There are a number of other witnesses, we know a number, and we have been looking at all of them and looking at them over a period of time,” he said.
“We’ve been able to make some progress and we are very grateful to them.”
Det Supt FonSeca said there was a lack, however, of information on the man who died.
“It’s quite possible he was homeless, but we don’t know,” he told reporters.
New Zealand Police released a statement saying that officers had been called to the scene where the victim died after a dispute.
They were asked to remove a body from a tent, where they found a man with an injury to his right arm.
He was taken to Wellington Hospital and died on February 3, the statement said.
“We were unable to find the man in the hours before his death.
We will now conduct a thorough investigation to establish exactly what happened and the circumstances of the death.”
Fonsecas statement added: “It is with great regret that we are releasing this information to the public, but the facts surrounding the death are still unclear.”
Police said the victim was not known to them and that no arrests had been made.
‘We did everything we could to get him out of the area’Det Sups Fon Seca and Detective Inspector Ian Smith said the police had been asked to do more to identify witnesses to the murder, and said it had been difficult to find any information about the man.
After the killing police also found out that the man had been homeless before he was killed.
Faced with a growing number of calls for police to intervene, the force launched a “swat” operation, which involved police asking residents to call police to report suspicious activity.
This involved officers posing as homeless people who had seen an injured man and then handing them food.
One man was arrested in connection with the incident and he is due to appear in court on Tuesday.