6 Jan 2011

Tonga women's group wary of new police minister choice

2:16 pm on 6 January 2011

A women's activist in Tonga says her organisation is unhappy that a man who was charged with assaulting his wife last September is the country's new police minister.

The charge against Viliami Latu, who was formerly the Clerk of the House, was later dropped because his wife refused to testify.

Dr Latu was also charged with assaulting his wife and her sister in 2008, but those charges were also dropped.

The director of the Women's and Children's Crisis Centre, Ofa ki-levuka Guttenbeil Likiliki, says they will watching the new minister's performance

"We're not happy about it but this is a huge challenge for him people do make changes in their lives and we'll be monitoring him closely, the way that he moves forward the agenda of domestic violence within the police because it has come forward in the last 24 months. And we would hate to see it come to a standstill or even move backwards because of the leadership not supporting it."

Ofa ki-levuka Guttenbeil Likiliki says she believes the decision to appoint Dr Latu was political, because he was one of the independents who supported the Prime Minister's nomination.