8 May 2007

Tonga's leading pro-democracy MP to appear in court again on riot charges

10:14 am on 8 May 2007

Tonga's leading pro-democracy MP, Akilisi Pohiva, has been convicted on charges relating to a protest march on June 1 last year.

Along with local businessman Tui Uata at the Magistrate Court, Mr Pohiva was found guilty of encouraging and abetting with others to obstruct police lawful duties.

The Tongatapu number one people's representative to parliament was ordered to pay a 220 US dollar fine.

Our correspondent Mateni Tapueluelu says the case is unrelated to court proceedings stemming from the Nukualofa riot last November, in which Mr Pohiva has been charged sedition.

"Akilisi and Tuí Uata were found guilty on a charge with regards to disobeying police orders during a particular march before the riot. It's not the charges with relation to the riot on November 16th. The issue of 16th of November is certainly very different."

Mateni Tapueluelu.