Ousted Tonga Attorney General Files Suit Over Dismissal

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Cauchi, first ‘independent AG’ claims employment contract breached

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, May 27, 2013) – John Cauchi, Tonga's former Attorney General, has filed three Causes of Action against the Government of Tonga with the Nuku'alofa Supreme Court claiming over AUD$500,000 in special damages and relief for Breach of Contract, Repudiation of Contract and Constructive Dismissal.

The claim for relief by the Australian Cauchi, who was Tonga's first independent Attorney General, was filed with the Nuku'alofa Supreme Court in Chambers on Friday, 24 May, and was adjourned to June 28.

Cauchi signed a Contract of Employment with the Government of Tonga on 26 May 2009 and was appointed as Attorney General of Tonga for a three-years term starting on 26 May 2009.

However, he announced his resignation as Tonga's Attorney General on 30 April 2010.

It is understood that the Chief Justice Hon. Michael Scott adjourned the matter to June 28 for another Chambers meeting. Cauchi, as plaintiff, was represented by local counsel Petunia Tupou, while Sione Sisifa of the Crown acted for the respondent, the Government of the Kingdom of Tonga.

Claims

In the first Cause of Action on breach of contract the plaintiff is claiming relief including special damages of TOP$56,252.33, interest at 10 percent per annum from 30 April 2010 until date of judgment, as well as general damages of TOP$50,000 and costs.

The second and additional Cause of Action was for the Repudiation of Contract and claiming for relief of AUD$458,000 plus 10%, for 22 months salaries from April 2010 to May 2012, as well as general damages of TOP$50,000 and costs.

The plaintiff's third alternative Cause of Action was for Constructive dismissal, claiming for relief of TOP$458,000 for salaries from April 2010 to May 2012 plus 10% from April 2010 until the date of judgment, and TOP$50,000 for General Damage.

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