The boyfriend of Australian woman Sara Connor flew into a rage and repeatedly hit a Bali police officer over the head with a beer bottle after accusing him of being a "fake cop", Indonesian police said Tuesday.
Traffic policeman Wayan Sudarsa was found dead last week with wounds to his head and neck on a popular beach in the south of the Indonesian resort island.
Briton David Taylor and his NSW girlfriend Sara Connor were arrested and have been named as suspects, a step in the Indonesian legal system meaning investigators believe they have enough evidence to consider filing charges.
Taylor, a DJ, admitted in questioning Monday to having a fight with Sudarsa on the beach after accusing him of stealing Connor's bag.
He repeatedly smashed a beer bottle into a Bali police officer's head until the bottle broke, Bali police said.
A mobile phone and the officer's own binoculars were also used to beat him on Kuta beach.
Police allege Connor, a mum of two from Byron Bay, then took the officer's wallet and mobile phone and that it was Connor's idea to burn the evidence, along with the couple's bloody clothes.
Giving his account of how the fight began, Hadi Purnomo, police chief in the Balinese capital Denpasar, said Taylor had "searched the victim, accused him of being a thief, and called him a fake cop even though he was wearing a uniform".
Taylor got "mad" and they started to fight on the beach, with the Briton repeatedly hitting the policeman's head with a bottle until it broke, Purnomo said.
"David was hitting violently, in a rage, with the bottle," the police chief said.
Connor has maintained her innocence, saying she only sought to separate the fighting men.
However Purnomo said Tuesday he believed that she had taken part in the killing. A day after the policeman's body was found, the couple checked out of their hotel and burned their clothes, the police chief said.
They had initially tried to deny any confrontation with Sudarsa and had offered a series of confusing and contradictory accounts of what had happened, he said.
They could face up to 15 years in jail if found guilty of murder. Bali, a pocket of Hinduism in Muslim-majority Indonesia, is a popular tourist destination known for its tropical climate and palm-fringed beaches.
Petty crime is common but murders are rare.
Late last night, police took Connor and Taylor to Jimbaran to find the spot where the evidence was burned.
"They had a plan to burn the evidence, including the clothes and the victim's mobile phone and wallet ... so the cards in the wallet were cut up with scissors, the mobile phone was disposed of and everything in the wallet was cut up by scissors. There was a police member card and others. Then it was burned by Sara and David," Denpasar Police chief Hadi Purnomo claimed.
He alleged that it was Connor's idea to burn the evidence after she heard from a friend in Australia that she was wanted by the police.
Connor says she was not involved in the bashing murder and had tried to separate her boyfriend from the police officer and was unaware the officer had died.
"Sara said that she (was) not involved with this murder, she (was) not involved at all with this murder," her lawyer Erwin Siregar said.
More details of the alleged crime, on a Kuta Beach in the early hours of August 17, emerged as the couple was taken yesterday by police for further physical examinations in hospital. A handcuffed Connor kept a green coloured sarong over her head while Taylor was wearing orange overalls emblazoned with the Indonesian word for suspect. Connor too was wearing an orange coat.
As a result of exhaustive hours of interrogation, police have now said that in addition to being held as a suspect on a murder charge, that Connor is also being held on accomplice charges. Taylor is a suspect on murder, assault and battery charges
Comr Purnomo said it was alleged the motive for the vicious attack was a belief that the dead officer had stolen Connor's handbag and was a fake officer.
Connor was interrogated for nine hours and Taylor for 12 hours on Monday during which, police claim, they retracted earlier confused statements and told a new version for how Wayan Sudarsa came to be found bloodied and dead with 17 head wounds.
Mr Purnomo said that Connor and Taylor were dating on the beach when Connor panicked upon realising her handbag was missing because it contained her licence and ATM card, wallet and money.
Seeing the police officer, who was on duty in the area, she asked if he had seen the bag.
Taylor then accused the officer of stealing the bag and of being a fake police officer. Mr Purnomo said that Taylor attempted to frisk the officer and offended, the officer pushed Taylor onto the sand.
A fight ensued, and police will allege Connor also pushed the officer who also fell down and Connor was bitten by the victim. Connor pulled the officer's hair and he pulled her hair during the beach tussle.
Mr Purnomo said that Taylor bashed the officer with a mobile phone, yelling at him: "You have stolen the bag, you are a fake police. Where is my bag? Where is my bag? F**k you. Where is my bag? F**k police."
David found a bottle, he bashed the police with a bottle. David brought the bottle in his left hand then moved it to his right hand, then he bashed the bottle onto the police officer's head. The bottle broke and then David bashed him again with the broken bottle. That caused many wounds in the head," Mr Purnomo said. He also used the officer's own binoculars to bash the victim.
He claimed that when Taylor was frisking the victim's body, looking for the bag, Connor was also involved. He said it was Connor who took the wallet and also frisked the officer.
Mr Purnomo said that Taylor had told Connor the victim had passed out but was still conscious.
Connor and Taylor then left the beach and tried to get a motorbike taxi driver to take them to the police station but he refused because they were covered in blood and dirt. So the couple walked to their nearby hotel, washed the evidence and slept before checking out the next morning. At midday they returned to collect their luggage.
Both are suspects on murder charges which carry a maximum 15 years jail. They are yet to be officially charged, something which under Indonesian law will occur within 120 days, when prosecutors consider all the evidence.