12 Feb 2019

Landmark Tokelau court case concludes

8:42 pm on 12 February 2019

An investigation into the conduct of two former public servants in Tokelau has come under scrutiny at a landmark hearing of the territory's High Court.

18072016 Photo: Rebekah Parsons-King. Wellington High Court.

Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Three faipule, or leaders in Tokelau, who are being sued as part of the government, were in Wellington for the hearing, which concluded on Tuesday,

A lawyer for the plaintiffs, told the Tokelau High Court on Tuesday the pair were singled out in the fallout over alleged government mis-spending.

Jovilisi Suveinakama and Heto Puka are seeking lost income in wages and benefits from Tokelau's government.

Their lawyer said an investigation by the government into the plaintiffs' conduct deviated from a separate inquiry which did not solely focus on the plaintiffs.

The defendants' lawyer said an investigation focusing on one or two people was not a sign it was predetermined.

In closing, Judge Churchman said it was a significant case because it was the first substantive hearing of the Tokelau High Court.

He reserved his decision, which will take several weeks.

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