19 Feb 2010

Tonga Justice Minister says whipping a deterrent to aberrant deportees

3:59 pm on 19 February 2010

Tonga's Minister of Justice says the recent sentencing of two young men to whipping as well as imprisonment will act as a strong deterrent to the criminal element among people who've been returned to Tonga as deportees.

Samiu Kuita Vaipulu's comment comes as a former Justice Minister, Clive Edwards, says he's preparing a private member's bill proposing the abolition of whipping as a legal penalty.

Mr Vaipulu says as whipping has been in place in Tonga without being legally challenged since 1924, it's appropriate that it still be imposed as a punishment.

"There's additional crime here within Tonga at the moment, which is, some are blamed on deportees and with this penalty, with this sentence of whipping, it is still according to the law."

Samiu Kuita Vaipulu says all countries have their own democracy and laws and whatever the legislature approves must be followed.