15 Jan 2010

Tonga's PM summoned by Ashika ferry inquiry

3:59 pm on 15 January 2010

Tonga's Prime Minister and other cabinet ministers have been summoned to give evidence next month at the Royal Commission of Inquiry into last August's sinking of the MV Princess Ashika ferry.

The investigation into the tragedy, which claimed 74 lives, resumed this week, with a New Zealand marine engineer, David Shaw, and a New Zealand ship broker and valuer, James Lewis, giving evidence.

Our correspondent, Mateni Tapueluelu, says publicising the names of the additional witnesses has generated much interest.

"The assistant lawyer of the Commission indicated that the various witnesses who will be called on in the next few weeks, includes the Prime Minister, who was served with a summons on Wednesday this week, to appear on the 12 February. It's the Minister of Finance, the Chief secretary to Cabinet the former Minister of Transportation, the CEO of transportation, some big names in cabinet including the Treasury department will be called on to testify."

Mateni Tapueluelu.

The inquiry adjourns for one week from January the 29th .