24 May 2024

Tonga's Lavulavu faces hefty fine for contempt of court

From , 6:01 am on 24 May 2024
Etuate and Akosita Lavulavu

Etuate and Akosita Lavulavu Photo: Kaniva Tonga

A former Tongan cabinet minister, who is appealing his conviction for fraudulently obtaining government funds, is back in hot water.

Etuate Lavulavu, with his wife 'Akosita, ran an educational institute, where, to get more state funding, they greatly inflated the number of students enrolled.

After both had had their convictions quashed on appeal, they were retried and convicted in the Supreme Court - and these convictions are now under appeal.

In the meantime, Etuate Lavulavu has found himself convicted of contempt for comments about a trial judge.

RNZ Pacific's Don Wiseman spoke with Tongan correspondent, Kalafi Moala, about the latest developments in the never-ending Lavulavu saga.