19 Sep 2012

Initial court dates set for two Tonga nobles facing criminal charges

1:21 pm on 19 September 2012

A former speaker of parliament in Tonga, Lord Tu'ilakepa and the current Deputy Speaker Lord Tu'iha'ateiho are due to appear separately in the Nuku'alofa magistrate's court.

The acting Solicitor General Sione Sisifa says Lord Tu'iha'ateiho, who is charged with one count of unlawful possession of a firearm, will appear on the 2nd of October for his preliminary inquiry at the lower court.

Matangi Tonga reports the charge is related to an automatic pistol that was found by police in possession of escaped prisoners who claimed they stole it from his home in 2010.

Meanwhile, Lord Tu'ilakepa, the current Vava'u Noble's representative to parliament, will appear on the 27th and 28th of November for his preliminary inquiry.

He is charged with numerous counts, including conspiracy to import illicit drugs into Tonga and unlawful possession of firearms.