3 Nov 2016

Tonga passport forgery sentencing next week

7:46 pm on 3 November 2016

Four Tongan nationals, including two former civil servants, will be sentenced on Friday next week after pleading guilty to charges in a passport forgery trial in September.

Matangi Tonga reports the accused had initially pleaded not guilty but changed their pleas at the start of the case.

It involved a forged Tongan birth certificate on a passport application in the name of a non-existent person, 'James Connor Tameifuna.'

A former civil servant 'Isileli Kaumavae had created the false birth certificate; another civil servant, Sosefo Sione 'Ahohako, who worked at the Magistrate's Court office, made a false declaration that he knew the person.

The website said that in the past year police have charged 12 people for alleged forgeries and the illegal issuance of Tongan passports.

This is the first of the cases to get to court.

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