30 Apr 2010

Tonga shipping company head pleads ont guilty in perjury case

12:10 pm on 30 April 2010

The secretary of Tonga's Shipping Corporation of Polynesia has pleaded not guilty to a charge of perjury during the Ashika Royal Commission of Enquiry.

Lord Dalgety, who is also known as Ramsay Robertson Dalgety QC, made the plea in the Supreme Court in Nuku'alofa.

His company operated the Princess Ashika ferry which sank last August with the loss of 74 lives.

Matangi Tonga reports the perjury charge was laid in January when he falsely denied links with the company Ocean Pacific Limited, as recorded in the enquiry's transcripts.

The Chief Justice, Anthony Ford, has lifted media restrictions on the Dalgety proceedings, saying the Supreme Court will treat the case like any other.

The perjury trial will be before a judge alone and is set to begin on October the 26th.