TONGA TRUST FUND SCANDAL SET FOR TRAIL

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Feb. 17) - A civil case related to more than US$26 million in funds missing from the Tonga Trust Fund has been scheduled to be heard in San Francisco.

The hearing is to be held in early December.

The money reportedly was taken out of a bank account and invested in a high risk asset fund in Nevada by an American financial advisor named Jesse D. Bogdonoff.

About fifty witnesses, including some from Tonga, are due to be called in the case.

The Tonga Trust Fund was set up by the government to hold funds for the benefit of the Tongan people.

In 1999, the fund held more than US$26 million, but most of that has been lost.

Last week, Tonga’s legislative assembly reportedly moved to impeach several ministers implicated in the matter.

February 17, 2003

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com

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