30 Mar 2009

Five accused found not guilty of sedition in Tonga

11:42 am on 30 March 2009

A jury in Tonga's Supreme Court has found five men not guilty of sedition charges relating to the riots and destruction of Nuku'lofa, in November 2006.

Chief Justice Anthony Ford had already discharged a sixth man accused of sedition charges, due to insufficient evidence.

The jury of seven men delivered their unanimous verdict after deliberating in closed chambers for about 30 minutes.

The Matangi Tonga newsite says five accused were the Ha'apai People's Representative Sione Teisina Fuko, Semisi Tapueluelu , Paula Vi , Siosiua Uipi and Tevita Fifita .

They were alleged to have made seditious remarks between October 26 and November 16 at Pangai Si'i and other venues.