16 Aug 2002

Tonga forgery case resumes on Friday

5:38 am on 16 August 2002

A magistrate's court in Tonga is to hear submissions today in a case against two pro-democracy workers and a newspaper editor who are alleged to have used a forged document about the king's wealth.

MPs Akilisi Pohiva and Isileli Pulu, and journalist Po'oi Pohiva, are charged with forgery and knowingly dealing with a forged document while the editor of the Taimi O Tonga newspaper, Mateni Tapueluelu, is charged with dealing with a forged document.

The charges relate to the publishing of a letter which claimed the King had a secret bank account worth millions of dollars.

The prosecution has called 53 witnesses to back up its case.

A decision could be reached as early as Friday on whether to dismiss the charges or move the case to the Supreme Court.