30 Dec 2019

Former Tonga telecommunications chief treated unfairly - judge rules

11:48 am on 30 December 2019

The sacking of the former head of the Tonga Communications Corporation (TCC) was unfair, the Supreme Court of Tonga has ruled.

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Photo: 123rf

Rizvi Jurangpathy's contract with the state-owned telecommunications aompany TCC was terminated in April of 2017.

The Court awarded Mr Jurangpathy $US70,000 for damages and loss of income.

The Lord Chief Justice M H Whitten said the corporation failed to act fairly or reasonably towards Mr Jurangpathy before making their decision.

The trial exposed serious incompetency by the TCC Board, and in particular a subcommittee assigned to carry out an investigation into allegations against Mr Jurangpathy.

The judge said the committee members resorted to "yelling, intimidation and belittling" of the plaintiff, threatening at one point to throw him out a window.

The case also revealed the political pressure for Mr Jurangpathy to resign, coming from the MP Mateni Tapueluelu, the son-in-law of the then prime minister, 'Akilisi Pohiva.