22 Jul 2008

Tonga anti-corruption commissioner says agency brief is modern

3:25 pm on 22 July 2008

The anti-corruption commissioner in Tonga, Neil Adsett, says the institution's mandate is to look at widespread and serious corruption no matter on which level.

The Anti Corruption Commission was established a month ago to investigate suspected wrongdoing and improve the level of governance in the kingdom.

Mr Adsett was responding to criticism by a people's representative, Akilisi Pohiva, who says the new Anti Corruption Commission is useless because it can't investigate the king and would only function in a democracy.

Mr Adsett dismisses this.

"There's no specific mention of the king in the act. It's a modern anti-corruption act that looks widely, it tells us that we must look systematically at widespread and serious corruption."

Neil Adsett says the court system in Tonga is independent and brings everybody to justice, including nobles.