NUKU'ALOFA (Radio TV Tonga) - Two staff members of The Kele'a newspaper and one of its regular writers have been charged with defamation.
They are the publisher, Laucala Tapueluelu; the editor, Mateni Tapueluelu, and 'Akilisi Pohiva.
In January, the newspaper ran an article written by 'Akilisi Pohiva, which alleged that the Deputy Prime Minister, Samiu Vaipulu, together with the former minister of works, Lord Nuku, took some of a 80 million pa'anga ($F85.58m) loan which was assigned to road maintenance.
Samiu Vaipulu has denied the allegation and is asking for 10,000 pa'anga ($F10,711) in damages.
The three are scheduled to appear at Fasi Magistrates Court on Monday.