28 Sep 2012

Tonga Crown case of perjury against Lord Dalgety dismissed for lack of sufficient evidence

1:02 pm on 28 September 2012

Tonga Supreme Court judge, Justice Charles Cato, has dismissed a perjury indictment against Lord Ramsay Dalgety after a pre-trial application.

Lord Dalgety had been charged in relation to evidence he'd given to the Commission in Inquiry into the sinking of the inter island ferry, Princess Ashika.

The charge of perjury was quashed by an earlier court decision but the Court of Appeal ordered it be re-instated.

The Solicitor General, Aminiasi Kefu, says today's decision is that the Crown's case lacked substantive evidence, though their initial appeal had concerned the indictment being rejected because it hadn't been signed.

"So that was more just a technicality but the substantive merits of the case were determined in the recent ruling. The Court's position was that there wasn't sufficient evidence for a properly directed jury to convict based on the evidence, so it was mainly based on interpretation of the Crown's evicence."