9 Sep 2010

Not guilty pleas in Tonga as Ashika case adjourned

1:14 pm on 9 September 2010

The five accused in last year's sinking of the Princess Ashika in Tonga have pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The Matangi Tonga website reports that the Shipping Corporation of Polynesia Ltd represented by its counsel Vuna Fa'otusia, the corporation's former managing director, John Jonesse, Captain Makahokovalu Tuputupu, the Acting Director of Marine, Viliami Tu'ipulotu and First Mate Semisi Pomale appeared before Justice Robert Shuster yesterday.

Each of the defendants was read their charges, which include manslaughter, accounting to over 40 offences in total.

Each pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Justice Shuster ordered the Crown Prosecution to disclose all statements to the defence and adjourned the hearing to October the 8th when a trial date will be set.