6 Mar 2008

Two candidates running in Tonga's election in April appear in court

11:16 am on 6 March 2008

Two candidates running for Tonga's election in April have appeared in court this week facing charges relating to the November riot in 2006.

'Ofa Simiki, one of two female candidates running for Niua, appeared in the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

She pleaded not guilty to five charges of sedition, abetment to arson, abetment to housebreaking and two charges of abetment to the damaging of a building, the Phoenix at Kolofo'ou during the riot.

Chief Justice Anthony Ford adjourned her case to March 17.

The Matangi Tonga online reports Sangstar Saulala, a candidate for Tongatapu, was arrested on Sunday after failing to turn up for an arraignment last week.

Sangstar is charged with two counts of sedition and riotous assembly relating to the riot.

He appeared in the Magistrate's Court earlier this week, but his case was deferred until next Monday, when he reappears in the Supreme Court.