13 Aug 2010

Tonga judicial inquiry a farce to ensure aid dollars keep coming - Law Society

1:46 pm on 13 August 2010

The Tonga Law Society says the Government is trying to whitewash claims it's interfering in the judiciary to ensure financial aid to the sector from Australia and New Zealand continues.

The Tonga Privy Council, which is dominated by the Cabinet, last week ordered a commission of inquiry into whether the Government is exercising undue influence over the judiciary.

This follows accusations of interference by Attorney General, John Cauchi, when he resigned in April and Government intentions to abolish the independent Judicial Service Commission.

The President of the Law Society, Laki Niu, says the interference is plain and the inquiry is a farce.

"They want it stated in writing by some supposed independent commission of inquiry that Government is not doing that. They need some paper to that effect so they can persuade Australia and New Zealand to pay the money to continue to fund judges that they will appoint."

Laki Niu.