4 Oct 2012

China loan report sent to independent Tonga committee

12:33 pm on 4 October 2012

The report into the Tongan Government's handling of a Chinese loan for the rebuilding of the capital Nuku'alofa has now been referred to a new independent Parliamentary Committee.

Debate on the report has dominated Parliament since it was released a month ago.

Alex Perrottet reports.

"The report says the Government did not consult Parliament before broadening the scope of the loan, and alleges there is no accounting evidence of payments. It recommended an independent prosecutor investigate criminal behaviour, but that has been rubbished by Government ministers, who have voted to send the report to another committee. Matangi Tonga online reports that debate divided Parliament, over whether the report should be reviewed by the Finance Committee, which includes the two main report writers, 'Akilisi Pohiva and Dr Sitiveni Halapua, or an independent committee. The proposed chair of the new committee is People's Representative 'Aisake Eke. He is one of the ten Parliamentarians who signed a motion for a vote of no confidence in the Government in June."