6 Apr 2011

Appeal expected today against Tonga's Ashika sentence

3:02 pm on 6 April 2011

The New Zealand man jailed for five years on Monday for his role in the sinking of the Tonga inter-island ferry, the Princess Ashika, is to lodge an appeal today.

John Jonesse, who headed the Shipping Corporation of Polynesia, was convicted on eight charges.

Don Wiseman reports:

"Jonesse was one of four men convicted on a charge of manslaughter by negligence. He was also convicted of sending an unseaworthy ship to sea on five occasions, forgery and knowingly using a falsified document.Jonesse received the biggest sentence with the former director of marine, Viliami Tu'ipulotu avoiding a prison term, the captain jailed for six months and his first mate for 18 months. Jonesse's lawyer, Laki Niu, says he will appeal against both the convictions and sentences. During the sentencing on Monday, Justice Robert Shuster told Jonesse he'd operated a shambles of an organisation. He was also criticised for not showing remorse. Jonesse has not commented to the media since he was arrested and Mr Niu says he intends not to say anything until the trial is finished, to ensure his case is not prejudiced by further media comment."