Tongan PM calls for jailing of parliament

Tonga Prime Minister Akilisi Pohiva. Picture: RNZ

NUKU’ALOFA, 25 SEPTEMBER 2018 (KANIVA TONGA NEWS) – Tonga’s Prime Minister, ‘Akilisi Pohiva, says the country’s parliamentarians should all be jailed for inaction on controversial payments made to Tongasat.

The company, which manages Tonga’s orbital space, is at the centre of a legal case brought by Pohiva over nearly US$50 million it received from China.

Last month, Tonga’s Supreme Court ruled the payments were not approved by the government.

According to Matangi Tonga Pohiva told parliament last week that a 2012 Auditor General’s report reached the same conclusion but nothing was done.

He suggested the members take turns in twos to do prison time at the weekends and in the mornings so as not to disrupt parliament.

‘Eua Noble MP Lord Nuku told parliament the Tongasat case should not be debated because there is an appeal pending by the defendants.

The plaintiffs, Pohiva and Tonga’s Public Service Association, have been granted costs of the legal action, but this has not yet been finalised.

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