Please allow me a brief response to Dr. Ma’afu’otu’itonga Palu’s letter of 29 May 2007 under the title, “The Tongan law makers,” in which he posed the questions whether it is “… lawful that PRs under criminal charges for sedition be admitted to one of the decision-making body of our country?” and should ” … they really be granted all their rightful financial benefits funded by the taxpayers while they stand trial for crimes committed not only against the Tongan government but also against Tongan citizens?”
The short answer to his questions is that in spite of ‘Akilisi Pohiva’s frequent public pronouncements that the “rule of law is a fraud”, the rule of law in Tonga is alive and robust and well. As such the five People’s Representatives who have been charged with sedition are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Until the court of law makes that judgment the 5 PRs will enjoy all the benefits that are due them as members of the country’s Legislative Assembly.
Press Secretary/Political Adviser to the Prime Minister
lsenituli [at] pmo [dot] gov [dot] to