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Results for From the Courts

Saturday 24 February 2018

Nuku'alofa, Tonga
The Tonga Supreme Court has acquitted a teenager on charges of knowingly having consensual intercourse with a 14-year girl in 2017. The court accepted that the accused, who was 18 years old at the time, believed that the girl was 17 years and would not have had sexual intercourse with the girl if he knew she was 14. The girl became pregnant as a consequence.
Wednesday 21 February 2018

Nuku'alofa, Tonga
Chief Justice Paulsen of the Tonga Land Court scolded the Minister of Lands Hon. Ma’afu in a ruling of a land dispute case on 5 February. The ruling dismissed a decision by the Minister of Lands to regrant land registration to an overseas based Tongan man. The man wanted to evict his niece who had been living on a town allotment in Fanga for more than 40 years.
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Friday 9 February 2018
Nuku'alofa, Tonga
Tonga’s first Court of Appeal session is expected to begin on March 19, in Nuku’alofa.
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Thursday 8 February 2018
Nuku'alofa, Tonga
Hateni Kaufusi (32) who is charged with murder in relation to the death of Tolifili Tu'alau (27), appeared at the Nukunuku Magistrate’s Court on February 8, and was moved to Hu'atolitoli Prison until February 15.
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Friday 2 February 2018
Nuku'alofa, Tonga
A 24-year old man has been detained in custody to be sentenced on two counts of rape committed in 2013, after being convicted at the Supreme Court.
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Thursday 1 February 2018
Nuku'alofa, Tonga
Hekisou Fifita (48) who pleaded guilty and was convicted of carrying a .22 rifle inside a bar in Nuku’alofa with the intention to commit an offence, received a fully suspended sentence on January 26, at the Supreme Court in Nuku'alofa.
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Wednesday 31 January 2018

Nuku'alofa, Tonga
The Tonga Land Court has blocked a calculated attempt by a female leaseholder to evict her brother’s widow and children from her brother's family home in Kolomotu'a. Mr Justice Paulsen ruled yesterday 30 January that “It would be unjust to require her to move".
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Monday 29 January 2018
Nuku'alofa, Tonga
A former administration officer for the Tanoa Hotel in Nuku'alofa, Selemana Fonua (39), was found guilty of false accounting and theft of $21,299 pa’anga by the Tonga Supreme Court. She awaits sentencing on 19 February 2018.
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Monday 29 January 2018
Auckland, New Zealand
Talakai Aholelei (66) – the driver of the bus which crashed in New Zealand in 2016 killing three Tongan nationals – was sentenced to 5½ months’ home detention by a New Zealand court on Wednesday. Talakai was also disqualified from driving for two years and ordered to pay $36,000 in emotional reparations. The bus was carrying 53 people, mostly members of a brass band from Mailefihi Siu'ilikutapu College in Vava’u – who were touring New Zealand to raise funds.
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Tuesday 23 January 2018

Nuku'alofa, Tonga
'Etuate Lavulavu is to pay Viliami Latu the sum of $69,319.90 after Justice O. G. Paulsen on 8 January 2018 dismissed an application by ‘Etuate Lavulavu for the Supreme Court to change a “Consent Order” that came into effective on 11 August 2017. The judge ruled that "Mr Latu is entitled to say 'enough is enough'."
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Tuesday 9 January 2018
Nuku'alofa, Tonga
An "authoritative and dominating" father of five, Sunia Mailau (45), was convicted of committing incest, rape, assault and indecent acts against his teenage daughter. He was sentenced following trial, to over 9 years’ imprisonment by Judge C.B. Cato of the Tonga Supreme Court on 17 December.
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Friday 29 December 2017
Nuku'alofa, Tonga
A dispute by two of the sons of the four Wight brothers who had co-leased a property in central Tongatapu, highlighted the need for the Ministry of Lands to review the drafting of such leases and how to deal with them upon the death of co-lessees, President Owen G. Paulsen of the Land Court of Tonga, stressed in a decision on 18 December 2017. His decision also showed that family members cannot automatically assume entitlement to a lease on the death of the lessee, without having followed the requirements of the Probate Act, which requires an application for Letters of Administration of a deceased's estate.
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Friday 22 December 2017
Nuku'alofa, Tonga
Petelo Tapueluelu who pleaded guilty to the manslaughter death of Kelekolio Fahiua in Neiafu received a fully suspended jail sentence on December 7.
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Thursday 21 December 2017
Nuku'alofa, Tonga
Mumuhu Pou’uhila (18) was sentenced to three and a half years imprisonment for causing grievous bodily harm to Nelesoni Tu’itavake, when he threw a brick hitting his face causing him to go blind in the eye.
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Wednesday 13 December 2017
Gisborne, New Zealand
A 50-year-old Tongan man in Gisborne, New Zealand was sentenced to 140 hours of community work by the Gisborne District Court after he pleaded guilty to assaulting his son with a kafa (taovala belt) for refusing to read the bible.
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Wednesday 6 December 2017
Nuku'alofa, Tonga
Tonga's Land Court ruled that a private money lender, the Wallaces, had no legal interest in the lease or in the proceeds of sale of a property lease held by Lucy Ana Ilaiu. In making the ruling the President of the Land Court, Lord Chief Justice O. G. Paulsen warned that it is not open to persons to use legal processes, such as the procedure for lodging caveats, unreasonably or for improper purposes.
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Wednesday 6 December 2017
Nuku'alofa, Tonga
Two serial thieves who were jailed earlier this year for robberies committed in 2015 and 2016 – Rodney Toki (21) and Tevita Vaka (29) – have both had their prison sentences extended after the Supreme Court of Tonga found them guilty of committing a break-in robbery in May last year.
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Thursday 23 November 2017
Nuku'alofa, Tonga
Tevita Fifita was found guilty of using a vehicle with an unauthorized licence plate and was discharged without conviction on the basis that he pay to court $200 pa’anga compensation, which he had done when a verdict was delivered by a Supreme Court judge on November 17.
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Wednesday 22 November 2017

Nuku'alofa, Tonga
World Rugby has increased by 19% its current investment on the Fijian, Samoan and Tongan Rugby Unions and the preparation of their national teams for the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Meanwhile Tonga’s Rugby Union is in turmoil after the Supreme Court voided an amendment to its Constitution, and on November 9 appointed the Acting Attorney General to call a meeting to elect a new President, Deputy President and other officers.
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Friday 3 November 2017
Nuku'alofa, Tonga
A man accused of reckless driving has been found not guilty in relation to a fatal car crash in Pahu last year that left a driver dead. The accused was alleged to have been in a “race” with the victim. However Hon. Justice Cato in the Supreme Court of Tonga on 25 October, dismissed the charge as he said there was no sufficient evidence.
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