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Fiji Time: 1:37 AM on Friday 25 April

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Ship was in shape

Monday, August 10, 2009

THE MV Princess Ashika was in good condition when it was sold, says Patterson Brothers Shipping director.

Former ship owner George Patterson declined to elaborate on the state of the ship sold to the Shipping Corporation of Polynesia Ltd two months ago.

Asked if the vessel was seaworthy, Mr Patterson said it was still in running condition when it was sold.

"We sold it on an as is where is basis," he said. "The vessel belongs to someone else and I'd rather not comment on it."

Radio New Zealand earlier reported concerns by the Tongan people that the Ashika was not seaworthy before its ill-fated voyage.

However, Tongan Prime Minister Feleti Sevele denied this.