18 Jun 2002

Compensation claim case in Tonga deferred until July 29th

9:15 am on 18 June 2002

A court case against the Tongan government seeking damages for wrongful imprisonment has been adjourned until July the 29th.

Pro-democracy MP Akilisi Pohiva, Taimi o Tonga newspaper publisher, Kalafi Moala, and former editor, Filokalafi Akau'ola, were imprisoned on contempt of parliament charges in 1996.

The three had been jailed after the paper ran a story about a motion in the Legislative Assembly criticising the justice minister.

An earlier report said the motion criticised the police minister but the motion was directed at the justice minister.

The three were released when the Supreme Court ruled that their jailing was unconstitutional.

The three want to sue for damages but the case had to be adjourned because their lawyers had to be away.