26 Sep 2005

Police incompetence blamed for collapse of case against students

7:47 pm on 26 September 2005

A Tongan MP and lawyer say a magistrate last week dismissed a case involving Tongan College students because of police incompetence.

The police prosecutor is now appealing the decision to dismiss charges of conspiracy to commit a crime against 15 students.

They had allegedly damaged school property during the civil servants strike.

Clive Edwards who represented the students said the police hadn't specified the nature of offences committed nor made any progress on their investigations.

"Police asked for over two months adjournment and they hadn't made any progress, even though they were given one month to get their things in order and to have the case heard, they were'nt, and so that's why the magistrate dismissed it."

Clive Edwards says the appeal hearing is expected to take place in November.