Two at centre of probe into electricity body to face each other in court

The whistle-blower who brought to light allegations of financial irregularities against former Speaker Lord Tu’ivakanō has sued one of her colleagues at the Tonga Electricity Commission.

Lawyer Seinimili Tu’i’onetoa Fonua has taken legal action against commissioner Paula Tupou.

In an email to Kaniva on Friday, Paula Tupou wrote: “I am to be in Court at Fasi 10 a.m. this morning for ‘unruly behaviour in a public place’. There are six charges against me brought about by my fellow Electricity Commissioner Seinimili Tu’i’onetoa Fonua.”

Our correspondent in Tonga arrived at the Fasi Magistrate’s Court on Friday to cover the court case, but was told it has been postponed until August 3.

As Kaniva reported last year, Commissioner Paula Tupou was investigating the allegations of missing funds in the Electricity Commission.

The former Chairman of the Board, Lord Dalgety of Scotland Tonga, who was at the centre of the allegations, abruptly resigned, citing health reasons.

Commissioner Tupou was appointed as the Electricity Commission’s Acting CEO while Fonua was appointed by Cabinet as a Commissioner.

Fonua’s appointment came after she resigned from the Legislative Assembly over what she claimed was a lack of independence in Parliament and allegations of financial irregularities involving Lord Tuʻivakanō.

In March this year Police charged Lord Tu’ivakanō with passport offences, money laundering and bribery.

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