11 May 2012

Tonga media trio accused of defamation

12:22 pm on 11 May 2012

Two key staff at Tonga's Kele'a newspaper as well as its founder have been accused of defamation by two members of the Cabinet.

Defending the suit are the Kele'a's publisher, Laucala Tapueluelu, editor, Mateni Tapueluelu, and Tonga's opposition leader, 'Akilisi Pohiva.

Radio Tonga reports the suit centres on an article by Mr Pohiva, which alleged that the deputy prime minister, Samiu Vaipulu, and the former works minister, Lord Nuku, took part of 46 million US dollar loan meant for road maintenance.

Radio Tonga says Mr Vaipulu has denied the claim and is seeking damages.

The case is to go to court on Monday.