Prison boss wrongfully dismissed, Tonga’s new prison commissioner

Sēmisi Tapueluelu has been named as Tonga’s Prison Commissioner.

Tapueluelu replaces outgoing prison commissioner Sione Falemanu.

The announcement was made today by Acting Prime Minister Siaosi Sovaleni who said Tapueluelu took his oath of office as the Prison Commissioner in his presence.

“It is the Prison’s Department’s main responsibility to assure the safety of the people in the society and that is to put those that the court has ruled in prison because they can’t control themselves. My intention as Prison Commissioner is therefore rest on the main vision of the department,” Tapueluelu said.

The top prison job is not new to Tapueluelu.

He held the post for a number of years since his first appointment as prison warden in 1970s but was wrongfully dismissed in 2002 by the then government after he was wrongly accused of corruption allegations.

He took the government to court in which he won it in November 2014.

The Supreme Court ruled that the government must compensate Mr Tapueluelu for damages caused by his wrongful dismissal and loss of salary.

Yesterday Hon Sovaleni said: “The government views the management and reform of the Prisons as very important and supports Mr Tapueluelu in this key role and we look forward working closely with him.”

Supreme Court rules Tapueluelu’s dismissal unlawful, orders compensation by government

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