ANOTHER CLAIM OF INTERFERENCE IN TONGA

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Former justice minister forced out last year

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, May 5, 2010) – A former Tongan Minister of Justice says she was forced to resign last year because she objected to political interference in the judiciary.

At the time, the government said Alisi Taumoepeau - who was also Attorney-General - was asked to resign for misleading cabinet.

But she says that is not true.

The most recent attorney-general, John Cauchi, quit last week.

He alleged the government has been interfering in the country's legal system.

Ms Taumoepeau says that is exactly why she was forced out in 2009.

"Exactly the same issues. Different facts, but exactly the same issues - intereference in the judiciary," she said.

"Very very similar to what John is going through now, relating specifically to the reappointment of the Chief Justice"

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