TONGA PRINCE APPOINTS TWO INTERIM OFFICIALS

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Interim Lord Chancellor, Attorney General effective Aug. 29

NUKU΄ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, Sept. 1, 2011) – His Royal Highness Crown Prince Tupouto'a-Lavaka as the Prince Regent has approved the appointment of two men to the positions of Interim Lord Chancellor and Interim Attorney General in Tonga.

The Lord Privy Seal Va'inga Tone in a public statement announced the appointment of Albert Harrison (Harry) Waalkens Esquire K.C. (Tonga), Q.C. (New Zealand) as Interim Lord Chancellor and Barrie Sweetman as Interim Attorney General. Having indicated their acceptance of office in writing the appointment was made effective from August 29, until a permanent appointment is made.

Suka 'Otukolo, the Deputy Secretary at the Palace office in Nuku'alofa confirmed that the Crown Prince Tupouto'a Lavaka became Prince Regent effective on his arrival in Tonga on August 25, while HM King George Tupou IV is overseas. The Crown Prince is Tonga's first and current High Commissioner to Australia based in Canberra.

On August 29, the Prince Regent in Council considered and approved the appointment of the two men to the positions of Interim Lord Chancellor and Interim Attorney General.

Both appointees are prominent lawyers with distinguished careers.

Harry Waalkens was a Crown Prosecutor in Tonga from 1981-82. In 1982 he was a litigation solicitor for Bell Gully Buddle Weir Solicitors in Auckland before becoming partner for Bell Gully, Solicitors from 1986-1994.

In 1994 he was Barrister sole at Shortland Chambers in Auckland before being appointed as Queen's Counsel in New Zealand in 2004. In July 2008 he became Barrister sole at Quay Chambers in Auckland and was appointed the King of Tonga's counsel in 2009.

Meanwhile, Barrie Sweetman is a prominent Fiji barrister and is the current Chairman of Tonga's Electoral Commission.

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