25 Feb 2010

More accounts of lavish spending heard at Tonga ferry disaster inquiry

9:15 pm on 25 February 2010

There have been more revelations of extravagant spending by the people running Tonga Government agencies, as the inquiry into the sinking of the Princess Ashika continues.

"The Ashika inquiry yesterday (thurs ) raised queries about the three Tonga's Electricity commissioners spending over 600 thousand US dollars in the past year, much of it on travel and restaurants."

One commissioner is Lord Dalgety, who is also secretary of the Shipping Corporation of Polynesia, which operated the Ashika.

He has already detailed lavish spending while on Shipping Corporation business overseas.

Another member of the Electricity Commission, businessman Tapu Panuve, was asked to explain the spending.

Our correspondent Mateni Tapueluelu says Mr Panuve broke down in tears when shown the invoices and said he would resign and the other two commissioners should also do so.


IN:......When Tapu Panuve was asked if this was a scandal he answered yes, when he was asked if this was misappropriation of public funds, he also said yes.