17 Jan 2012

Tonga court adjourns former speaker's drugs case

11:09 am on 17 January 2012

The case in Tonga of a Vava'u Nobles Representative and former Speaker of the Legislative Assembly has been adjourned until mid-February.

According to Matangi Tonga, Lord Tu'ilakepa appeared in the magistrate's court yesterday charged with firearms and drugs charges.

The case was adjourned and he will appear in closed chambers to decide whether the case will proceed with a Preliminary Inquiry at the Magistrate's Court, or be submitted directly to the Supreme Court for trial.

Last June, Lord Tu'ilakepa was charged with one new count of conspiracy to the importation of an illicit drug into Tonga in addition to five illicit drugs and illegal firearms charges laid the year before.

The current speaker, Lord Lasike, is also charged over the affair but left Tonga for the United States last year.

He has failed to return is now facing an arrest warrant.