28 Mar 2008

Tongan minister apologises for breaking law

4:13 pm on 28 March 2008

Tonga's tourism minister, Fineasi Funaki, has publicly apologised for depositing government funds into his personal bank account.

This comes two months after it became known that he had deposited the 1,600 US dollar government cheque given by China.

An investigation showed that in doing so, he had broken the law.

The information minister said Mr Funaki had no prior experience in the public service and it may have been difficult to understand the system.

As a result, the prime minister, Dr Feleti Sevele, decided last week that Mr Funaki would have to work for three months without pay.

Mr Funaki has assured the people of Tonga that he will do his best to get back their confidence.