14 Sep 2010

MP admits assault conviction in Tonga

5:45 pm on 14 September 2010

ACT Party law and order spokesperson David Garrett has admitted a conviction for assault as a result of an incident outside a bar in Tonga.

Mr Garrett says it happened in 2002 and he has been trying to appeal against the conviction in the Tongan courts ever since.

The MP says he was attacked outside a bar by a man who also ended up being charged with assault.

Mr Garrett says he was charged after his assailant laid a counter complaint.

He says he has been unable to ascertain why his appeal has not yet been heard during several trips to Tonga since the incident.

Labour Party leader Phil Goff says Mr Garrett should have told the public he has a conviction for assault.

He says ACT claims to be open and transparent, yet party leader Rodney Hide also kept quiet about the conviction.