14 Jul 2008

Tonga's number two People's Rep cleared on riot-related charges

8:54 pm on 14 July 2008

Tonga's Supreme Court has cleared the number two people's representative of nine charges relating to the riots in Nuku'alofa in November 2006.

Eight people died during the riot, which destroyed much of the capital's central business district.

Isileli Pulu was charged with abettment to murder, abettment to manslaughter and arson.

Our Tonga correspondent, Mateni Tapueluelu reports he has been the first people's representative to stand trial in the Supreme Court regarding the riot.

"The people's number two representative for Tongatapu, a prominent promoter of democracy, has been discharged by the Supreme Court. He's been freed from nine criminal charges. So were the other two principal offenders that were also freed. But they are just people that happened to be in Nukualofa during the last riot. And of course there were eight people that died during the riot, and that's why the people's representative and the other two were charged."

Mateni Tapueluelu