Charges dropped against 123 Tupou College students

Tonga's Magistrate Salesi Mafi charged twenty-four Tupou College students and two adults with serious criminal offences in Nuku'alofa yesterday.

The charges ranged from attempted murder, attempted arson, grievous bodily harm, serious housebreaking, rioting, damaging a building, and to abetment in relation to the vicious attack at a Tofoa  residence  on July18, 2013.

In his ruling however, Magistrate Mafi dropped charges against 123 students and ordered 81 to write a letter of apology after they pleaded guilty to abetting the attackers. 

Three students were discharged due to lack of evidence.

152 people including 147 students from Tupou College were initially charged in relation to the violent attack.

Magistrate Mafi ruled the 81 students had to write a letter to the court apologising to the people of Tonga, the tenant of the house where the attack took place – Lu'isa Mahe – as well as the victims and the principals of Tonga College and Tupou College.

Paying compensation of $200 each to the court within one month, the 81 students were also ordered to submit their letters of apology to the Magistrate Court by February 18.

The 26 accused will reappear on March 24 where they would be committed to the Supreme Court for trial.

The accused violently attacked a home in Tofoa leaving a former Tonga College student Taniela Halahuni in a coma and 15 year-old Tonga College student Daniel Mahe Junior injured.

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