17 Dec 2014

Kiribati MP loses defamation case against Tong

2:39 pm on 17 December 2014

A Kiribati opposition MP Tebuai Uaai has lost his defamation lawsuit against the President Anote Tong.

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Photo: RNZ

The MP took Mr Tong to court after taking issue with statements questioning his credibility.

Mr Tong had called Tebuai Uaai a liar after the MP accused the Minister of Health of using 7,000 dollars in public funds to pay for an airfare for his wife.

Mr Tong called on the MP to apologise, saying he should be prosecuted and was a liar because his figures were wrong.

The court found that the president's statement was fair and justified.

It dismissed the accounts of two witnesses saying they were not from the MPs constituency and it was hard to believe from them that Tebuai Uaai's credibility had been damaged.