TONGA DEMOCRACY ACTIVIST POHIVA ARRESTED

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NUKUALOFA, Tonga (Tonga Now, May 31) - Tongatapu No 1 People’s representative ‘Akilisi Pohiva was in police custody last week for breaching bail conditions.

Pohiva had appeared in court last Monday, May 22, charged with disorderly behavior in a public place. He was ordered to surrender his passport and was out on bail while his case was delayed to Monday this week, May 29. However, a police report states Pohiva failed to relinquish his passport which led to his brief arrest on Friday, May 27. He was later released after the passport was produced.

Pohiva was again charged with contempt of court when he failed to appear at his trial on May 29. Police say he did not provide a sick- leave to explain his absence.

Acting Police Commander Kainga Hia said Pohiva is also charged with sedition and awaits a hearing before the case is submitted to the Supreme Court.

[PIR editor’s note: ‘Akilisi Pohiva is Chairman of the National Political Reform Committee, which has presented details of their new government model to the Kingdom of Tonga National Committee for Political Reform. See earlier story for details.]

June 1, 2006

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