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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

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Former Tongan Speaker’s Court Case Delayed Again
Lord Tu’ilakepa appealing decision for preliminary date

NUKUALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Nov. 26, 2012) – Lord Tu'ilakepa, a former Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Tonga who is facing multiple charges of conspiracy to the importation of illicit drugs and illegal possession of firearms, had his case adjourned yet again.

He is appealing against a decision by a Magistrate who set the Preliminary Inquiry (PI) date for 27 November.

Senior Crown Counsel Sione Sisifa said they dealt with preliminary matters concerning the case in chambers last week, when the Magistrate confirmed the Preliminary Inquiry to be held tomorrow at the Nuku'alofa Magistrate's Court.

However, Lord Tu'ilakepa is appealing to the Supreme Court over the date for the Preliminary Inquiry.

So for the time being, the PI would not held tomorrow as scheduled, and the date would not be confirmed until the appeal is heard and ruled on by the Supreme Court, he said.

Lord Tu'ilakepa is a current Vava'u Nobles Representative to Parliament.

The Preliminary Inquiry was initially set to be held from November 27-28 at the lower court, after the closure of parliament.

The charges followed a transnational police investigation into illicit drugs conducted in Tonga and Australia. On December 2, 2010 Tonga Police executed five search warrants at four locations in Tongatapu and one location in Vava’u that resulted in the noble being charged.

Matangi Tonga Magazine: www.matangitonga.to/home/
Copyright 2012 Matangi Tonga. All Rights Reserved


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