27 Oct 2009

Tonga PM claims misreporting about Ashika comments

9:40 pm on 27 October 2009

The Tongan prime minister, Dr Feleti Sevele, has accused TV3 of New Zealand of deliberately taking his comments about the Princess Ashika ferry disaster out of context.

His office issued a statement, saying it disagrees with the report's claim that he changed his tune about the seaworthiness of the ferry.

It says the TV report quoted his comments shortly after the accident and drew the wrong conclusion from his latest comments which were meant to say that the inquiry into the sinking would provide answers.

The statement says the TV report was to mislead the New Zealand public and create public animosity towards Dr Sevele and his government.

This comes as the inquiry got underway in Nukualofa today to look into the causes of the August disaster which claimed more than 70 lives.