9 Nov 2009

Speculation in Tonga over suspension of Polynesian shipping corporation boss

12:47 pm on 9 November 2009

Questions are being asked in Tonga about why the head of the government-owned Shipping Corporation of Polynesia has been suspended part-way through the inquiry into the sinking of the Princess Ashika.

75 people died when the ferry sank on August the 5th.

John Jonesse, who's a New Zealander, says he's been suspended on full pay by the Tongan government.

Our correspondent in Tonga, Mateni Tapueluelu says there's a lot of speculation about why that happened as Mr Jonesse began giving evidence that the ferry was rusty, and that repairs were not completed before its final journey.

He says people feel the Tongan government is not forthcoming with information about the Princess Ashika.