21 Feb 2007

Tongan students acquitted in school vandalism case

8:12 pm on 21 February 2007

Students at a high school in Tonga who vandalised classrooms in protest at government treatment of their principal and his deputies nearly two years ago have been acquitted in a jury trial.

The students from Atele College had apparently started wrecking school property after the then government had moved several staff to another location because they were advocates for a public servants strike, which had been in progress for nearly a month.

Our correspondent says the students had wrecked a new computer room, the school's administration office and its main hall.

13 students were charged with destroying public property but a jury earlier this week acquitted all of them.