30 Jan 2012

Tonga's Clerk of Parliament says Speaker innocent unless proven guilty

6:45 am on 30 January 2012

The Clerk of Parliament in Tonga says the Speaker Lord Lasike will open the assembly this week despite a court case pending against him.

Last Friday, Lord Lasike pleaded not guilty to one count of illegally possessing ammunition.

He is free on bail despite breaching bail conditions last November when he hopped off a parliamentary trip to Israel and stayed in the US for two months to get married.

The clerk, Sione Tekiteki, says parliament will wait for the outcome of the trial before taking any necessary steps.

"Parliament is in a position and has always taken the position that if anything is before the courts then we should wait until the work of the courts is completed before we make any determination on any member."

Sione Tekiteki says Lord Lasike is due to reappear in the Supreme Court on February the 10th.