3 Jun 2003

Taimi publisher to take legal action over continued Tongan government ban on paper

4:43 am on 3 June 2003

The publisher of the Taimi O Tonga newspaper, Kalafi Moala, says the paper will seek legal action today because the Tongan government continues to stop the sale of the paper.

Copies of the paper were rushed to Tonga last Tuesday after the last of five bans were quashed by the Supreme Court.

But Customs officials have refused to release the paper until the Privy Council has reversed its bans which the government imposed after alleging that the paper wanted to overthrow the government.

One such ban was lifted on Friday but the publisher, Kalafi Moala, says they have been told they have to wait for the Privy Council to again meet before the other bans are formally lifted.

"They're saying now that they need to do another gazetting in order to reverse the second ordinance. We really believe we've been given the run around. So what they're doing is that theiy're going to issue one little bit, another little bit. We're going to consult our lawyer, we're going to apply for... to the courts tomorrow for an order for immediate release because this is ridiculous."