30 Jan 2017

Tongan noble representative acquitted of five charges

2:59 pm on 30 January 2017

A jury has found a Tongan noble representative not guilty of five charges including firearms offences regarding three separate incidents last year.

Matangi Tonga reports the charges against Lord Tu'iha'ateiho included trespassing, possession of ammunition without a license, unlawful imprisonment, discharging a firearm within the boundaries of a town and killing swine.

The Crown withdrew a sixth count of public disturbance.

On 15 April, it was alleged that the noble had gone to a vehicle dealer with a firearm and unlawfully detained a watchman.

The court also heard on 20 April he was alleged to have shot two pigs, discharging the firearm in a public area.

This led to a complaint filed and police executed a search warrant at his home in Ha'ateiho on 4 May, where the alleged ammunition was found.

However, after the seven jurors heard the evidence from about 10 witnesses during the Supreme Court trial, they found the noble not guilty of all charges.