24 Mar 2004

Tonga trial today of Auckland man importing banned newspaper

8:23 am on 24 March 2004

A Tongan pro-democracy advocate, Auckland mechanic Alan Taione, says he believes that a victory in his trial on charges of distributing a banned publication will overturn the new media laws.

He will in court in Nuku'alofa today for handing out copies of the banned Auckland publication, the Taimi O Tonga.

He says he is ready to face a penalty because he cannot accept laws that take away basic human rights.

"If I won this case it's one for the democracy, and it will be a reversal of the constitutional change back to normal."

Alan Taione may face further charges because he arrived in Tonga yesterday carrying several copies of the banned Taimi which were confiscated.