21 Nov 2011

Former Tonga PM dismisses aid misspending claim

12:10 pm on 21 November 2011

A former Tongan prime minister, Lord Feleti Sevele, dismisses claims that aid from New Zealand for democracy education has been misappropriated.

Both New Zealand and Tonga have been conducting investigations into the spending amid reports it has not all been accounted for.

Lord Sevele was prime minister when the funding was provided in the lead up to last year's elections for a more democratic parliament.

He says he has seen a report from Tonga's auditor general which states that some of the money may have been misappropriated.

But Lord Sevele says all the spending was carefully accounted for and he is confident no money went missing.

"As far as I am concerned and as far as the Chief Secretary to Government, who was one of the two signatories, with a couple of other officers are concerned, no funds are missing or [have been]misappropriated."

Lord Feleti Sevele