The Tongatapu no. 2 People's Representative, 'Isileli Pulu, appeared in the Nuku'alofa Supreme Court yesterday and pleaded not guilty to charges of abetment to murder and arson.
Matangi Tonga online says the charges are related to the deaths in the Shoreline Office fire during the riots of November 16, 2006.
Mr Pulu is being tried by a jury and appeared together with two other co-accused, Sosefo 'Amone and Siosiua 'Ulutaufonua.
The pair are charged with nine counts each of murder and arson endangering life, also related also to the deaths of eight people in the Shoreline Office fire.
Mr Pulu is separately charged with a total of nine counts, eight are for abetment to murder and one is abetment to arson in which he is alleged to have indirectly incited the two co-accused to commit the crimes of murder and arson.
The Crown submitted that Mr 'Amone and Mr 'Ulutaufonua set the fire to the Shoreline building and Mr Pulu abetted them to commit the crime to burn down the building.