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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center

With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Tongan Noble Denounces Loan Mishandling Accusations
Sevele claims he has not been given a chance to defend himself

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 28, 2013) – former Prime Minister Lord Feleti Sevele says he has been denied an opportunity to defend his reputation over accusations in a parliamentary report.

The select committee report accused the Sevele government of mishandling a multi-million dollar Chinese loan.

On Thursday a Supreme Court judge adjourned a judicial review of the report after the committee members appeared without representation.

The judge ordered the committee members, who include Parliamentarians ’Akilisi Pohiva and Dr. Sitiveni Halapua, to pay Lord Sevele’s costs.

Lord Sevele says parliamentary procedure was not followed by the committee.

"They have a duty to inform those people whose reputation may be at stake in their findings to acquaint them of the findings and give them the opportunity to respond, and their response is to be taken into account. It’s one of the principals of natural justice. That was the right denied to me."

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