30 Jan 2007

Tonga riot trials due to begin next week

3:02 pm on 30 January 2007

The first of the court cases in Tonga in connection with the riots last November are due to get under way next week.

More than 1,000 people have been arrested since the investigations began.

Police from both Australia and New Zealand have been helping with the investigations and Tonga's Attorney General has requested legal help from overseas to assist with the huge number of cases to be heard.

But as our correspondent in Nuku'alofa, Mateni Tapueluelu, explains moves are under way to help provide lawyers for those accused as well:

"The defence are also creating a team of lawyer to help with the defence of the varous people's representatives and the people in general, those that are being charged."

Mateni Tapueluelu