30 Nov 2009

Evidence volume slows Tonga's Ashika probe

3:29 pm on 30 November 2009

The Tongan Commission of Inquiry into the sinking of the Princess Ashika ferry has a huge amount of evidence still to consider and this is why it's decided against making any preliminary findings into the disaster.

The Ashika sank on the night of August the 5th claiming the lives of 74 people.

The Commission has just issued its interim report but says it hasn't made any preliminary findings because it is too early in the process.

Our correspondent in Tonga, Mateni Tapueluelu, says the Commission is still to assess a considerable amount of evidence.

"There's just bundles and bundles of documents they have got to consider and yet more witnesses to be called. And two, there are lawyers representing certain entities and they submitted recommendations to the Commission that they should not put out any conclusion because it is premature at this time to do so."

Mateni Tapueluelu.

The Commission's final report is due at the end of next March.