7 Jun 2007

Five Tongan MPs to stand trial for sedition in Supreme Court

12:28 pm on 7 June 2007

Five Tongan MPs, who are People's Representatives, are to stand trial in the Supreme Court on sedition charges.

The magistrate in the preliminary hearing stated that they do have a prima facie case to answer in connection with the riots in Nuku'alofa last November which destroyed much of the central business district.

Police magistrate, Peau Pifeleti, told the court that there was a lot of damage in Nuku'alofa and 8 lives were lost.

He also said sedition is a very serious crime.

The group, which includes pro-democracy movement leader, Akilisi Pohiva and former police minister, Clive Edwards, have asked to be tried by a judge, not a jury.

A date is yet to be set for the trial.