4 May 2010

Tonga claims misrepresention about its stance on prosecutors

3:14 pm on 4 May 2010

A Tonga Government official says it's a deliberate and malicious misrepresentation to say the Government doesn't support plans for special prosecutors to help with criminal cases arising from the Princess Ashika disaster.

John Cauchi, who resigned as Attorney General last week, cited judicial interference by the Government, including a lack of backing for the hiring of the prosecutors from New Zealand and Australia.

But Prime Minister Feleti Sevele's political advisor, Lopeti Senituli, says while it's been deferred until next year's Budget is worked out, an agreement is expected before the end of this month.

He says the Government supports the move.

"The honourable Prime Minister had written to Cauchi informing him that he has the total support for the appointment of the special prosecutors. So, that is why we are saying it's a deliberate and malicious misrepresentation."