5 Nov 2007

Sedition trials in Tonga delayed by nine months

8:50 am on 5 November 2007

The trial of five of Tonga's People's Representatives, charged with sedition, has been postponed for nine months

The Matangi Tonga website says the group was scheduled to appear in the Nuku'alofa Supreme Court today, but will now wait for a decision by the Court of Appeal on new submissions they have filed.

The accused are challenging a decision made by Chief Justice Anthony Ford in October to allow the Crown to file two additional charges of abetment to a riotous assembly and abetment to the damage of buildings against each of the five accused.

Earlier, in September the Crown withdrew six of the initial seven charges that it leveled at the group.

The five PRs were then charged only with sedition, allegedly committed in November 2006.

They have all pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The five accused are: 'Akilisi Pohiva, 'Isileli Pulu, William Clive Edwards, 'Uliti Uata and Lepolo Taunisila.