12 Apr 2018

Tonga's Internal Affairs Minister fired

12:50 pm on 12 April 2018

Tonga's Prime Minister has fired the Minister for Internal Affairs 'Akosita Lavulavu.

Matangi Tonga reports the firing was carried out yesterday and follows the March 3 arrest Mrs Lavulavu and her husband on fraud charges.

Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva said he met Mrs Lavulavu three times and asked her to resign, but she refused.

Tonga MP Akosita Havili Lavulavu in Wellington for a mentoring programme by the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians Pacific Region.

'Akosita Lavulavu was sworn in as minister on January 18 Photo: VNP / Daniela Maoate-Cox

Mr Pohiva informed the King of the sacking but Mrs Lavulavu's successor had not been announced.

The Lavulavus are charged with three counts each of knowingly dealing with forged documents and three counts of obtaining credit by false pretences.

This relates to a number of irregularities in an audit of the 'Unuaki 'o Tonga Royal Institute in 2016.

They appeared in the lower court in March and their case was adjourned to May 28.

'Etuate Lavulavu preceded his wife in her Vava'u seat but was fired last term after being found gulity of bribery.

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