TONGA: Sedition charges going to court

 
Five Tongan People's Representatives, charged with sedition in relation to the Nuku'alofa riots, have asked not to be tried by a jury, but by judge alone. The accused, 'Akilisi Pohiva, 'Isileli Pulu, William Clive Edwards, Lepolo Taunisila and 'Uliti Uata will be submitted in six weeks time to the Supreme Court for a trial date to be set. The alleged incident took place in the Cabinet Room at the Prime Minister's Office on the afternoon of November 16 last year.

A second sedition charge jointly for Pohiva, Edwards and Uata, relates to speeches they made at Pangai Si'i on November 14. There is also a joint charge of unlawful assembly for all five accused, which will be submitted also to the Supreme Court because it is under their jurisdiction. The preliminary inquiry hearing into the sedition charges ran from May 14-30.

Tonga's Prime Minister, Fred Sevele, says his government is still committed to political reform, but change will not come as fast as some might prefer - a promise heard many times by the pro-democracy movement in the past 30 years. [ More ]

'Akilisi Pohiva will speak at a seminar on Thursday, 14 June, 10am - 3pm, Fale Pasifika, University of Auckland, 20-26 Wynyard St. Other speakers are Lopeti Senituli, Political Advisor to the Prime Minister; Dr Malakai Koloamatangi, Canterbury University and Sitiveni Halapua, Acting Chairman of the Tonga National Committee for Political Reform.

Links: matangitonga | UNITYblog AIMC Reports Nov 2006: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

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