23 Nov 2015

Tongan court to finally hear election petition against MP

3:46 pm on 23 November 2015

A trial in Tonga to hear an election petition against the MP for Vava'u, 'Etuate Lavulavu, for alleged corruption during last year's campaign will go ahead on November the 25th.

The Chief Justice, Owen Paulson, dismissed Mr Lavulavu's two applications for adjournment as well as an application for the Chief Justice to recuse himself from hearing the petition.

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Photo: 123rf

Matangi Tonga reports Judge Paulson said the applications were frivolous and intended to delay the hearing.

The original petition was filed by Viliami Uasike Latu, who alleged Mr Lavulavu bribed voters.

In rejecting Mr Lavulavu's applications, the Chief Justice referred to threats by Mr Lavulavu that the Parliament's Housing Committee, of which he is the chairman, would direct the Chief Justice to vacate the house where he is living.

The direction has been withdrawn, but the Chief Justice called the move "both fanciful and mischievous."

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