9 Jun 2005

Tonga's Deputy PM asked by MP to resign over Fund losses

4:20 pm on 9 June 2005

A Tongan MP has called for the resignation of the deputy prime minister over million dollar losses incurred by the National Trust Fund.

Matangi Tonga reports that the people's representative for Vava'u, Samiu Vaipulu, asked Cecil Cocker to resign in parliament over the loss of 10.5 million US dollars.

In 2001, the representative was the chairman of a parliamentary sub-committee to investigate the Trust Fund and he discovered irregularities in the handling of the Fund dating back to 1994.

Two Cabinet Ministers have resigned over the matter.

Samiu Vaipulu said he felt obliged to ask the Deputy PM to also resign, accusing him of being the instigator of the illegal handling of the Fund.