31 Mar 2014

Tonga justice minister warns officials over leaks on passport scandal

2:46 pm on 31 March 2014

Tonga's justice minister, Clive Edwards, has warned the police ministry and the Auditor General, Dr Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa, over the leak of information about the Tongan passport scandal to media.

In an interview with Radio and Television Tonga, the minister also implied that Australia and New Zealand might be involved in the leaks, claiming they wanted access to Tongan foreign ministry records.

Mr Edwards said leaking the documents was illegal and that it would have been inappropriate for Dr Tu'i'onetoa to release any documents.

Kaniva News reported last week that the foreign ministry was ordered by the prime minister, Lord Tu'ivakano, to disobey the king's direct order not to issue passports to a Chinese man, Sien Lee.

It is believed Sien Lee may have been issued with 12 passports, including four diplomatic documents.