11 Jun 2003

Tonga Government asking for stay on latest order that it allow distribution of Taimi O Tonga

4:22 pm on 11 June 2003

A decision is due later this afternoon on the Tongan Government's appeal for a stay on the latest ruling that the Taimi O Tonga be distributed in the country.

On Monday the Supreme Court Chief Justice Gordon Ward granted an injunction sought by the newspaper's publishers against the government and eleven individual ministers.

The injunction says the government cannot treat the Times of Tonga as a prohibited, unauthorised or restricted import.

The government was ordered to immediately withdraw any instructions to prevent the free movement of the paper into the country.

However the Government had applied for a stay on the injunction and that is being heard in chambers by the Chief Justice this afternoon.

Today's action follows months of legal wrangling after the Government banned the Auckland produced paper.

And last week the Government indicated it would change the constitution to bring in tigher media laws and make Privy Council decisions no longer subject to judicial review.