18 Mar 2003

Taimi O Tonga hearing over ban to start Friday

3:50 pm on 18 March 2003

The Taimi o Tonga newspaper is to present its case to overturn a government ban of the publication in the Supreme Court on Monday.

The paper, deemed a prohibited import three weeks ago, was last week declared a prohibited document by Tonga's Privy Council.

The case is expected to take up to 3 days, with proceedings beginning with a preliminary hearing on Friday.

Taimi o Tonga editor, Mateni Tapueluelu, says the paper will seek an immediate lifting of the government ban and if the ban is found illegal the paper will also seek financial compensation.

The case will be presented by New Zealand lawyer, Rodney Harrison and has been taken by Taimi o Tonga publisher Kalafi Moala and manager Filokalafi Akau'ola.

The two defendents are Chief Customs officer and Finance minister Siosiua Utoikamanu and the government of Tonga.