20 Aug 2008

Trial of five Tongan MPs postponed

2:01 pm on 20 August 2008

The trial of five of Tonga's People's Representatives, charged with sedition, has been is postponed again.

The five, 'Akilisi Pohiva, 'Isileli Pulu, William Clive Edwards, 'Uliti Uata and Lepolo Taunisila challenged a decision made by Chief Justice Anthony Ford in October 2007 to allow the Crown to file two additional charges.

Matangi Tonga online reports that the Acting Solicitor General, 'Aminiasi Kefu, has confirmed that the five parliamentarians were scheduled to appear in the Supreme Court last week.

But he says because the Court of Appeal sat late, the judges needed more time to consider their decision.

If the Court of Appeal upholds the Chief Justice's ruling, the accused will face three charges each, including sedition, abetment to a riotous assembly and abetment to the damage of buildings.

No date has been set on when the decision will be reached.