5 Sep 2012

Tonga report claims loan for riot rebuild was illegal

4:21 am on 5 September 2012

A parliamentary select committee report into the rebuilding of the Nuku'alofa CBD has found a loan given to Tonga by a Chinese bank was illegal and it says somebody should face charges.

The loan of 50 million US dollars from the Exim Bank of China was administered by the Nuku'alofa Development Corporation and approved by cabinet to be used for the rebuild after the 2006 riots.

Dr Sitiveni Halapua, who was on the select committee, says they have found the money was used for projects other than the rebuild.

And he says changes to the contract were not put to the house for consent, which is against the law.

Dr Halapua says the Government is expected to pay the loan from next year.

"Because the use of the loan violates national law it is in the provision of the agreement that they should go back and talk with Exim bank about what they can do with this loan. Maybe it can be converted into a grant."

Dr Sitiveni Halapua.

The former Prime Minister Lord Sevele has previously told tonganz.net that he rejects claims the loan was illegal.