Supreme Court

Tonga Supreme Court finds couple guilty of multiple sexual assault charges

The man was found guilty of eight charges, including two counts of rape and four counts of serious indecent assault.

His wife has been found guilty of five offences, including  three of serious indecent assault, and one count of abetting rape.

Kaniva News reports the case was heard before Judge Niu in Vava’u.

The offences occurred on January 11 this year after the complainant and several other people, including the husband and wife, had engaged in a lengthy drinking session which, began the previous night.

Tonga's Supreme Court stays Tongasat appeal until costs paid

It comes as the government and Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva pursue Tongasat, which they accuse of taking millions in public money before it was stripped of its financial assets by a royal princess.

Tongasat, which manages Tonga's orbital space, launched an appeal after the Supreme Court in August last year ruled $US50 million in payments the company received from China was grant aid intended for the government. The payments were part of a settlement from China after it was found to have placed a satellite in Tonga's orbital space in 2006 without proper authorisation.

Tonga govt wants an 'all-Tongan' Supreme Court

Justice minister Vuna Fa'otusia said there were currently two New Zealanders on the bench, one of whom was the chief justice.

Because of this, interpreters were used in the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals to translate Tongan into English and vice versa, Mr Fa'otusia said.

His government was pushing for Tongans to be appointed at the end of the New Zealander's terms so that those translations would no longer be needed, he said.

Tonga Supreme Court discharges senior policeman without conviction

Tevita Fifita, who was then Chief Superintendent of Police in charge of the Central police station at Nuku’alofa, appeared before Lord Chief Justice Cato.

Kaniva News reports Fifita was charged with attempting to pervert the court of justice by asking a police mechanic to replace a number plate on a vehicle.

He was also charged with reckless driving and using an unauthorised number plate.

The incidents occurred on November 18-19 last year.

Tonga Supreme Court finds man guilty of attempted rape

The court heard Police were working on a vehicle near the scene when they heard someone repeatedly shouting for help.

They immediately attended to the call and found the accused, Ma’ili Vaivelata and the victim inside the accused’s car.

One Police officer saw  Vaivelata grabbing one hand of the victim and had his other hand on her chest like they were wrestling.

“He went to the car and saw the girl was crying”, the judgement said.

Kaniva News reports the victim asked him for help saying the accused was forcing her.

Kondra’s appeal on fast track list

The case returned for directions on Thursday afternoon before Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia.

He directed parties in the case to return to court on Monday, July 18, and settle index books in the appeal before a hearing date is allocated for the appeal to be heard.  

Leave was granted by a three-judge Supreme Court bench on June 21 to hear the appeal. A stay was also granted on that day against the decision of the National Court on March 1, dismissing his judicial review.

​Ombudsman Commission’s appeal dismissed

Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia dismissed the appeal on Thursday. However, he said the Ombudsman Commission is at liberty to file a Supreme Court review of the National Court’s decision of Jan 28, 2015.

He said if a review is filed by the Ombudsman, it will be determined on its merits.

The Ombudsman’s appeal was dismissed after the court was told that the documents for the appeal could not be located in the registry, despite a Supreme Court reference number or court file number being given for the case on March 6, 2015.

7-year court battle of Napa Napa land ends

A three-man Supreme Court bench upheld the National Court decision after a long court battle of seven years.   

Clan representative, Daure Gabe Pundi, said they had been in court since 2009 and the decision of the Supreme Court dismissing the appeal of the National Court’s decision was a relief.

“We wasted a lot of money, a lot of time but we knew it was our land so sacrificed everything and came to court.  We are happy now,” said Pundi. 

Tonga Rugby League faces court scrutiny

The order came from Chief Justice Owen Paulsen after he heard lengthy submissions on a dispute that has wracked the TNRL for years.

Kaniva Pacific reports thousands of dollars are unaccounted for, accounts have remained unaudited for years, the constitution has been violated, fraudulent elections have been held and court orders ignored.

Ex-president to be questioned in Brazil corruption probe

The ruling came on a request filed by investigators Sept. 11 who said they wanted to question Silva about possible involvement in the scheme. Under Brazilian law, all federal politicians and some at other levels can be investigated only if the Supreme Court approves the inquiry.