COURT CASE AGAINST TONGAN GOVERNMENT SEEKS DAMAGES FOR WRONGFUL IMPRISONMENT

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NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (June 19, 2002 – Radio Australia)---A court case against the Tongan government seeking damages for wrongful imprisonment has been adjourned until July 29.

Pro-democracy MP ‘Akilisi Pohiva, Times of Tonga newspaper publisher Kalafi Moala, and former editor Filokalafi Akau‘ola were imprisoned on contempt of Parliament charges in 1996.

The three were jailed after the paper ran a story about a motion in the Legislative Assembly criticizing the justice minister.

The three were released when the Supreme Court ruled that their jailing was unconstitutional.

The three want to sue for damages but the case had to be adjourned and postponed until next month because their lawyers were unavailable this week.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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