20 Sep 2011

Jonesse appeal over Ashika sentence in Tonga court

12:54 pm on 20 September 2011

The New Zealander sentenced to five years jail for his role in the Princess Ashika disaster in Tonga is having his appeal against the conviction and sentence heard in the Court of Appeal in Nuku'alofa this week.

John Jonesse was one of five people convicted following the disaster which claimed 74 lives when the unseaworthy interisland ferry sank two years ago.

He got the most severe sentence after being convicted for manslaughter by negligence, sending an unseaworthy ship to sea, forgery, and knowingly dealing with a forged document.

The Crown is also appealing against the light sentences imposed on the Ashika's captain, Villiami Tuputupu, and his first mate, Semisi Pomale.

The Solicitor General, Aminiasi Kefu, contends Judge Robert Shuster was wrong to give lengthy suspensions of their jail terms.