2 Dec 2008

Independent Tonga TV station plans to sue army for damage to studios

9:48 pm on 2 December 2008

An independent television station in Tonga is planning to sue the army for compensation for the damage soldiers have caused in their studios.

The OBN network has been off the air since the riot two years ago after it was accused of helping orchestrate the violence.

Through that time its studios were occupied by soldiers - until they left suddenly in the middle of last week.

The OBN chief executive, Sangster Saulala, who had earlier been acquitted on sedition charges, says it will be a while before the station can broadcast again, because so much equipment has been wrecked.

"What the army did, the soldiers, they damaged a lot of our equipment to the OBN. And so we are taping and taking photos of the station. Many of our equipments have been damaged by the army."

Sangster Saulala says they will be seeking compensation of around ten million pa-anga or around four and a half million US dollars.