13 May 2004

Tongan man pleads not guilty in paper distribution case

3:53 pm on 13 May 2004

Tongan pro-democracy advocate Alan Taione, who lives in New Zealand, has pleaded not guilty to charges of distributing a banned publication, the Taimi o Tonga.

Taione's lawyer appeared at the arraingment hearing, issuing the plea and electing to be tried by jury.

Taione has been ordered to appear for a hearing at the Supreme Court on June the 30th.

His lawyers are expected to base their defence on the argument that the Tongan government's new media rules are unconstitutional.