Tongan Magistrate's decision over China’s million grant to be reviewed by Supreme Court

A magistrate ruling that handed down in favour of Princess Pilolevu and her co-accused after a court of inquiry made its decision in May would be reviewed next week Friday 27 in the Nuku’alofa Supreme Court.

At the request of the appellant, MP ‘Akilisi Pohiva, the Supreme Judge will revisit a decision made by Magistrate Salesi Mafi acquitting Princess Pilolevu, Tongasat Company, Minister of Justice Hon Clive Edward and the PM Lord Tu’ivakano after they were charged with crimes of larceny and receiving stolen property.

Pohiva claimed the accused involved in an illegal transference to Tongasat of US$18 million which was part of a grant from the Chinese Government to Tonga.

The magistrate discovered that ‘Akilisi could not substantiate his claims, and therefore declared that there was no prima facie case against the defendants.

A Tongan government statement revealed the grant was US$49.9 million and the bulk of it was paid in two lots to Princess Pilolevu and her Tongasat Company.

The Former Prime Minister of Tonga, Lord Sevele claimed  there were negotiations made for the part of the money to be given to Tongasat.

Chinese Ambassador to Tonga,  Xiao Fei Sun told ABC news the grant was for “the development of the local society and economy, for the benefit the people.”

Pohiva said he is confident the Supreme Court would consider his appeal. He said one of the evidences he resubmitted to the Supreme Court was the copy of the grant’s agreement between the two governments.

There is nothing in the agreement  to say the money was meant to be shared between the Tonga government and the Princess’s Tongasat, Pohiva said.

Hon Clive Edwards who was acting for Princess Pilolevu and his company in the magistrate court wrote to Pohiva and told him he should not appeal the magistrate’s decision, Pohiva said.

Kaniva News understands a Australian lawyer will represent the princess and his company in the Court of Appeal.

Sometimes when a business is growing, it needs a little help.

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