25 Sep 2009

Tonga schedules Ashika hearing for Thursday

1:45 pm on 25 September 2009

A preliminary hearing into the sinking of the ferry, Princess Ashika, is to be held next Thursday in Nuku'alofa by the Royal Commission set up by the Government to investigate the tragedy.

The ferry sank nearly two months ago, claiming 74 lives.

Ahead of next Thursday's meeting the Commission has released its terms of reference.

The Chairman Warwick Andrew says it will aim to establish what led to the disaster and identify why so many lives were lost.

It will also identify evidence that could point to any criminal or civil act that may have contributed to the disaster and present proposals that would help prevent such a tragedy occurring again.

The Public is invited to provide information to assist the Commission in ascertaining the relevant facts.