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Court to deliver decision on appeal against discharge of four charges against Tonga's Lord Tu’ivakanō

A court decision on an appeal against a ruling by a Magistrate discharging four counts against former Tongan Prime Minister Lord Tu’ivakanō will be delivered later this week.

 Chief Justice Owen Paulsen has prohibited the publication of the details to prevent prejudice against Lord Tu’ivakanō’s upcoming trials.

The accused was initially charged with 12 counts before the Magistrate ordered the strike off citing lack of evidence.

 Paulsen said the other eight charges had sufficient evidence to be committed to the Supreme Court for trial.

The case has been called and adjourned numerous times due to various filing of document needs and related matters.

 Tu’ivakanō was arrested on 01 March 1 and charged with 12 counts, including one of making a false declaration to obtain a passport, two perjury counts, five for accepting bribes and two counts of money laundering.

 Tu’ivakanō served as Prime Minister between December 2010 and 2014 and was Speaker of the House during the last term.

 He has had his bail extended.

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