17 Jul 2008

Acquitted Tongan broadcaster praises Kingdom's judiciary

10:00 am on 17 July 2008

A Tongan broadcaster, who has been cleared of charges relating to the November 2006 riots, has praised the judiciary in the kingdom.

Sangster Saulala has been been arrested twice and charged on four counts, including sedition and unlawful assembly, relating to the riots in Nuku'alofa.

But the high court dismissed all accusations against him last Friday, citing insufficient evidence.

Mr Saulala says he was wrongfully charged and the Government took away his broadcasting rights, when he was simply doing his job.

He says the court ruling last week proves the judiciary is independent.

"It shows the world that the judiciary here in Tonga is fair and that there's justice there. That's the only place in Tonga that has fairness and accountability and transparency and we are hoping what happened in the justice system can happen in parliament; that we have more democracy and fairness."

The number two people's representative, Isi Pulu, was also cleared of all charges regarding the riot on Monday.