19 Jan 2012

Tonga's supreme court refuses application by Speaker

9:18 am on 19 January 2012

In Tonga, Justice Robert Shuster has refused an application filed by the Speaker of Parliament, Lord Lasike's counsel seeking to set aside a warrant for his arrest.

Lord Lasike faces charges of illegally possessing gun ammunition but he travelled to the United States in November breaching bail conditions.

Lord Lasike's counsel William Edwards filed an application on behalf of his client seeking to set aside his bench warrant and variation of bail on January 17.

It was put to the court that the Speaker was sick and that prevented him from going on the parliamentary trip to Israel in November last year.

But Justice Shuster refused the application and the warrant of arrest remains standing with a direction that he be arrested upon arrival into Tonga.