The Prime Minister of Tonga including 6 of his cabinet ministers is demanding $10,000 in compensation to be paid to each one of them from the Tonga Newspaper Kele’a for allegedly libeling them in a letter to the editor that has been published on October 2012.
Prime Minister Lord Tu’ivakano, Deputy Prime Minister Samiu Kiuta Vaipulu, Hon Clive Edwards the Minister of Law, Hon Viliami Uasike Latu minister for Tourism and Commerce, Hon Fe’ao Vakata Minister for Revenue Services, Hon Lisiate ‘Aloveita ‘Akolo Minister for Finance and National Planning and Hon Sangster Saulala Minister for Agriculture, Food, Forests and Fisheries claimed that they have been defamed by a letter to the editor titled – The law is paralyzed and it never goes forth to bring leaders to justice.
The lawyer for the applicants is Hon Clive Edwards and he is also one of the accusers.
Kele’a Newspaper was last year taken to court on a number of defamation cases including a lawsuit that saw it lost as the court ruled out in favour of the applicants Hon Clive Edwards the Minister of Law and Hon Deputy Prime Minister Samiu Vaipulu.
The defendant appeals this court ruling.
In this week’s edition Kele’a editor declares that they stand by their article and that this is an opportunity for the Prime Minister and his cabinet to appear in court and make responses to what have been raised in this letter to the editor – implying that it is something of public interest and may have not been made public had the letter not been allowed to publish.