7 May 2009

Tonga court acquits four men charged after 2006 Nuku'alofa riot

5:15 pm on 7 May 2009

Four men charged with serious multiple offences relating to the riots in Tonga's capital, Nuku'alofa two and a half years ago have been found not guilty in the Supreme Court.

The Matangi Tonga website reports that the jury delivered a unanimous verdict after about 15 minutes deliberation.

The four had been accused of riotous assembly, the destruction and damage of buildings and housebreaking.

Their initial trial was stopped last month after the Chief Justice Anthony Ford discharged the original jury, because three of jurors had discussed the case with one of the four accused.

Another jury was selected and the trial re-started.