11 Apr 2011

Judgement in human trafficking case in Tonga due today

5:30 am on 11 April 2011

A judgement on Tonga's first case of human trafficking will be delivered in the Nuku'alofa Supreme Court today.

Liu Lirong, a Chinese national has pleaded not guilty to seven counts, including four for trafficking persons into Tonga, one for keeping a brothel and two counts for trading in prostitution.

Matangi Tonga online says the case was heard in the Nuku'alofa Supreme Court in January.

The complainants, two Chinese women, Chun Juan Du and Hong Yu Yang, told the court that Liu had forced them into prostitution in Tongatapu.

Liu Lirong, in her evidence, strongly denied the prostitution claimed by the two victims.

In Tonga, the maximum penalty for trafficking persons is imprisonment not exceeding 25 years.