Supreme Court

Political upheaval in Tonga

Each was found guilty in separate rulings made by Tonga's Supreme Court in the space of a week.

Successful election petitions filed against the former prime minister, Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa, and Internal Affairs Minister, Sangstar Saulala, found both men guilty of bribing voters while campaigning for the election last year.

A third MP, Tatafu Moeaki the People's Representative for Tongatapu 4, and Minister of Finance had his election declared void, in a judgment by the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, a petition in Tonga to unseat MP, Tevita Puloka, has failed.

Tonga Cabinet Minister loses Parliament seat

Saulala was convicted of bribing voters during the election campaign period in November last year.

His election to the Tongatapu No.7 people's representative was declared void by the Chief Justice Monday.

RNZ Pacific reports in total seven MPs are facing accusations of bribery over the election, with four more cases to be decided this week.

One MPs has so far been exonerated by the Supreme Court.

     

 

Photo file Wikimedia  Caption: Minister for Internal Affairs, Sangster Saulala

Supreme Court rejects claim that Tongatapu No 2 election result was result of bribery

Sika was a Member of the Tongan Parliament from 2010 to 2021. He is currently leader of the Democratic Party of the Friendly Islands.

Kaniva News reports Sika alleged that ‘Uhilamoelangi Fasi won the election by bribery.

Reporting restrictions placed on cocaine cases in Vava'u

There are 30 cases of defendants charged in relation to the seizure of the illicit drugs, some of which washed up on Vava'u beaches.

Justice Nicholas Cooper in a written 'Record of Call Over' said no detail concerning these cases is be reported at all.

He also made directions in regards to the progress of the cases.

     

Supreme Court declares Google's code copying fair

Oracle, another tech titan, had sued Google in 2010 for copyright infringement over what it said was copied computer code.

Android is now used in an estimated 70% of global smartphones, and damages could have run into the billions.

But the Supreme Court let Google off the hook, overturning a lower court's decision it had infringed copyright.

The court ruled six to two in favour of Google.

At issue was whether Google's use of Oracle's Java API - a widely-used "building block" for programmers - counted as "fair use" under US copyright law.

Tonga court sentences 3 for manslaughter after man dies in bar fight

The men were convicted on a range of charges following the death of Sione Feimoefiafi.

Justice Charles Cato said the accused and the deceased had been watching the final of an American football match in the Tali’eva Bar in Nuku’alofa on February 4, 2019. The match ended before the fight broke out in the late afternoon.

Kaniva News reports the fight lasted three minutes as it moved from inside the bar to the road.

“The bar had opened about 12pm and no doubt alcohol played a part in the irrational and brutal acts that followed,” the judge said.

Former head of Tonga's Revenue and Customs to be extradited to Fiji

Anisi Kulufeinga Bloomfield is charged with theft and dishonesty, crimes he's alleged to have committed while acting as head of the Oceania Customs Organisation in Fiji between 2011 and 2014.

Matangi Tonga reported Justice Laki Niu authorised the request made by the Fiji government for the return of the accused.

"I have read the record of the case in the present application of the government of Fiji and I agree with the learned magistrate that there is a sufficient case, on both charges, to commit the accused for trial on both charges," Justice Niu ruled.

Tonga Supreme Court orders national to be extradited to Fiji

Anisi Kulufeinga Bloomfield is alleged to have committed the offences while acting as Head of the Oceania Customs Organisation based in Fiji.

He had applied for habeas corpus to stop his return to Fiji but this was dismissed by the judge.

Justice Laki Niu said that Tonga has an Extradition Act, which authorises the request made by the Government of the Republic of Fiji for the return of the accused.

Tonga Supreme Court rejects appeal by Minister of Justice over charges of threatening police

The charge arose out of an incident on January 12 2019, during a police investigation concerning a stolen cow.

According to Kaniva News, the Minister is alleged to have telephoned the police officers involved and said:

“Why did you take Faioso’s cow? And stop working like a tough guy before I shoot the shit out of a Police and had Faioso found you all of his farm, he  would have shot the shit out of you. “

The Appellant was subsequently charged with having breached sections 57 and 65 of the Criminal Offences Act.

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.