A New Zealand expatriate businessman involved in the purchase of an unseaworthy Tongan ferry has been charged with forgery and knowingly dealing with forged documents.
Seventy-four people died after the Princess Ashika sank in Tongan waters in August last year. A Royal Commission of Inquiry into the disaster began in the capital Nuku'alofa in October.
John Jonesse was suspended late last year from his position as chief executive of the Shipping Corporation of Polynesia after giving evidence at the inquiry.
Mr Jonesse was arrested and charged last week following revelations at another appearance earlier this month.
Tonga's acting police commissioner Taniela Faletau says Mr Jonesse has been charged with forgery and knowingly dealing with forged documents in relation to the Princess Ashika.
Mr Faletau says the charges relate to documents he purportedly signed using another person's name.
That admission was made by Mr Jonesse to the inquiry last week, when he also defended allegations of misusing expense and travel money paid to him during the ferry negotiations.
Mr Jonesse is on bail and is due to appear on 17 March.