22 Jul 2010

Three men in Tonga to be tried for manslaughter following Ashika disaster

6:04 am on 22 July 2010

Three men facing charges in Tonga in connection with the Princess Ashika disaster have had their cases committed to the Supreme Court for trial.

The Ashika sank in August last year with 74 people drowning.

In preliminary hearings in the Magistrates Court yesterday the ferry's captain, Maka Tuputupu, his first mate, Semisi Pomale and the former chief executive of the Shipping Corporation, New Zealander John Jonesse, were referred to the Supreme Court on manslaughter charges.

They also face charges of sending an unseaworthy vessel to sea.

The case of a fourth man facing charges, the director of marine, Viliami Tu'ipulotu, is to be processed through a preliminary inquiry.