Pōhiva approaches king with proposal to sack attorney general

    The Prime Minister of Tonga Hon ‘Akilisi Pohiva has approached His Majesty King Tupou VI with a proposal to dismiss the Acting Attorney General ‘Aminiasi Kefu local media have reported.

    The Attorney General can only be dismissed or replaced by the King according to the constitution.

    It was claimed the proposal was handed in to the king in a meeting with Pohiva last week.

    The details of the submission was not immediately clear but Letio Tonga 87.5 said the Prime Minister obviously was still not satisfied with the performance of the Attorney General since the new government began this year.

    Previous report:

    In February Hon. Pohiva accused  Kefu of interfering in Lord Tuʻilakepa’s fire arms case.

    Lord Tu’ilakepa was sentenced in January and ordered to pay fine of TP$10,000 within 14 days after pleading guilty to firearms and ammunition charges.

    The offence carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and if Lord Tu’ilapeka had been  jailed for two or more years he would have lost all his noble privileges and title.

    He escaped the jail terms and still holds his title.

    In a letter released to the media, the Prime Minister said Kefu appeared to have interfered  “with the independence and impartiality of a pending decision by a Supreme Judge of His Majesty’s Judiciary.”

    The Prime Minister has demanded that Kefu responds to what he described as his “grave concerns.”

    Kefu told Kaniva News at the time he had just seen the letter as he was traveling overseas and would return and deal with the matter.

    “I am fully prepared to answer and it is based on a total misunderstanding of judicial proceedings, and the role of the AG”, Kefu said.

    Hon. Pohiva claimed Kefu, the principal legal officer who represents the Crown and the state in legal proceedings, appeared to have attempted “to reduce the severity of the case”.

    He argued that Kefu failed in his role to bring full justice against Lord Tu’ilakepa.

    He also accused him of trying to diminish the severity of the case in comments made on air.

    The Prime Minister said  Lord Tu’ilakepa should have been treated the same way as the other people involved in the case.

    Police laid firearms charges against Lords Lasike, Tu’ilakepa and Tuʻihaʻateiho, for illegal possession of firearms and weapons several years ago.

    Hon. Pohiva said Lord Lasike’s case was heard four years ago. Lord Tu’ilakepa was only heard this year and Lord Tu’iha’ateiho’s case is yet to be heard.

    He expressed concern about the different sentences handed down to Lord Lasike and Lord Tu’ilakepa, saying he found them “to be discriminating and excessive”.

    According to the Prime Minister’s letter, only one bullet case was found in Lord Lasike’s residence while two caches of ammunitions were found at Lord Tu’ilakepa’s residences, in Longolongo and Ofu.

    The Prime Minister said Kefu should have not pleaded for a lesser sentence for Lord Tu’ilakepa during his court prosecution hearing.

    “Is it normal for a Crown Barrister like the Solicitor and acting Attorney General and now acting Attorney General, to be directly involved in seeking a lesser severe penalty for the defendant with the presiding judge of a case?” the Prime Minister said.

    Hon Pohiva told Kefu his attitude may have been accepted by former administrations but it “has no place in my government”.

    “The prolonged and unnecessary delay in bringing the case of Lord Tu’ilakepa to court baffled me,” the Prime Minister said.

     

    1 COMMENT

    1. Kuo fokotuʻu atu ʻe he Palēmia ʻo Tongá Samuela ʻAkilisi Pōhiva ki Heʻene ʻAfió ke toʻo ʻa e lakanga ʻĀteni Seniale Leʻoleʻo meia ʻĀminiasi Kefu, fakatatau ʻeni ki ha lipooti ʻa e mitiá mei Tongá.

      Ko e lakanga ʻĀteni Senialé ko e Tuʻi pe ʻoku ngofua ke ne fakanofo, kapusi pe fetongi fakatatau ki he konisitūtoné.

      Naʻe pehē ne fakahoko atu ʻe he Palēmiá ʻa e fokotuʻu jko ʻení ki he Tuʻí ʻi he uike kuo ʻosí.

      Kuo teʻeki fakamahino ʻa e fakaikiiki ʻo e fokotuʻu atu ko ʻení ka kuo pehē ʻe he Letiō Tonga 87.5 ngali ʻoku kei taʻefiemālie pe Palēmiá ki he toʻo fatongia ʻa ʻAminiasi Kefú talu e kamata mai ʻa e puleʻanga foʻoú.

      Ko e lipooti ʻeni ʻa e Kanivá ki muʻa:

      ʻI he māhina Fēpuelí ne tohi ai e Palēmiá ki he ʻAteni Senialé ʻo fakahā ʻa e ʻikai ke ne falala ki heʻene fakafeangai lolotonga e hopo ʻa Looti Tuʻilakepá ʻi hono maʻu mo e mahafu mo e meʻatau peá ke fai mai haʻane tali kiate ia fekauʻaki mo e meʻa ne ne hohaʻa ki aí.

      Ne tukuakiʻi ai ʻe Pōhiva ʻa e ʼAteni Seniale Leʻoleʻó ki heʻene kaunoa ʻi he keisi ʻa Looti Tuʻilakepa fekauʻaki mo e meʻataú.

      Naʻe tautea ʻa Looti Tuʻilakepa ʻi he konga ki muʻa ʻo e māhiná ní pea tuʻutuʻuni ke ne totongi ʻa e Taha Mano Tonga ʻi loto he ʻaho ʻe 14 ki heʻene halaia ki hono ngaahi fakaʻiló.

      Ko e hia ko ʻení ʻoku ala tautea ki he lahi taha ko e ngāue pōpula taʻu ʻe 5 pea ka ne tautea ʻa Tuʻilakepa ke ngāue ki he taʻu ʻe 2 pe lahi hake ko e mole kotoa ia hono ngaahi monūʻia fakanōpelé mo hono hingoá.

      Ne hao e ʻeikí ni he ngāue pōpulá pea ʻokú ne kei maʻu ai pe hono hingoá.

      Kuo fiemaʻu ʻe he Palēmiá ʻa Kefu ke fai haʻane tali leva ki heʻene mātuʻaki hohaʻa kuo ʻoatu kiate iá.

      ʻI ha tohi mei he ʻōfisi ʻo e Palemiá ʻoku pehē ai ʻe ʻOnapolo Pōhiva kia Kefu ʻoku ʻasi kiate ia ne ne fiekau ki he tuʻu tauʻatāina mo e ʻikai totoni ke toe uesia ʻe ha tafaʻaki e tuʻutuʻuni ne tuʻu tatali ke fakahoko ʻe he Fakamaau Lahi ʻo e Fakamaauʻanga ʻo ʻEne ʻAfió.

      Kuo fakahā ʻe Kefu ki he Ongoongo ʻa e Kanivá ko ʻene toki ʻilo e ki he tohí ʻi hono ʻoangé ka ʻoku lolotonga folau ia pea ʻe foki ʻo fai ha ngaue ke tali.

      Naʻá ne pehē ʻoku mateuteu kakato pe ia ke tali he ko e tohi [ʻa e Palēmiá] ʻoku makatuʻunga he maʻuhala ki he founga fai fakaʻilo fakafakamaauʻangá pea pehē ki he fatongia ʻo e ʻĀteni Senialé.

      ʻOku pehē ʻe Pohiva ko Kefú ʻa ia ko e ʻofisa fakalao pule ia ʻokú ne fakafofongaʻi fakalao ʻa e Kalauní mo e Puleʻangá ʻi he ngaahi fakaʻilo ʻoku faí, ne ʻasi hangē nai ne ne feinga ia ke fakasiʻisiʻi e mamafa ʻo e hia ʻa Tuʻilakepá.

      ʻOku fakafekikiʻi ʻe he Palēmiá ʻo pehē ne tō nounou e fatongia ʻo Kefú ʻi hono fatongiá ke ʻomi e fakamaau totonu kakató ki he hia ne fai ʻe Looti Tuʻilakepá.

      Naʻá ne toe tukuakiʻi ʻa Kefu ki heʻene feinga ʻi haʻane polokalama letiō ne fakamafola ʻi Tonga ke fakasiʻia e mamafa ʻo e keisi ko ʻení.

      Ne meʻa ʻa e Palēmia ʻo pehē naʻe totonu ke fai pe ʻe Kefu e meʻa tatau ki he keisi ʻa Looti Tuʻilakepá mo ia ki he ongo keisi kehe ne mei fakaʻilo he taimi tatau pe.

      Naʻe tātikite foki ʻe he kau Polisí ʻa Looti Lasike, Tuʻilakepa mo Tuʻihaʻateiho ki hono tauhi taʻe fakalao ha meʻatau mo ha mahafu he ngaahi taʻu mai ko eé.

      Naʻe meʻa ʻa Pōhiva ʻo pehē ne fakahoko e hopo ia ʻa Lasiké ʻi he taʻu ʻe fā kuohilí. Ne foki fai pe ʻeni e hopo ia ʻa Tuʻilakepá pea oku teʻeki fai e hopo ia ʻa e Tuʻihaʻateihó.

      Ne pehē ai ʻe he Palēmiá ʻokú ne hohaʻa ki he tautea ʻo e ongo keisi a Lasike mo Tuʻilakepá ʻoku hā kiate ia ʻa e fakakehekehe pea ʻoku fuʻu lahi ʻa e taha.

      Fakatatau ki he tohi ʻa e palēmiá ko e foʻi mahafu pe ʻe taha ne maʻu ʻi he nofoʻanga ʻo Lasiké kae maʻu e tukuʻanga mahafu ia ʻe ua he ngaahi ʻapi nofoʻanga ʻo Tuʻilakepa ʻi Longolongo mo Ofú.

      Naʻe toe meʻa ʻa e palēmiá ʻo pehē naʻe tonu ke ʻoua ʻe toe kole ʻe Kefu ia ke fakasiʻisiʻi ʻa e tautea ʻo Looti Tuʻilakepá lolotonga e lele ʻene hopó.

      Naʻe fehuʻi ai ʻe he Palēmiá kia Kefu pe ʻoku angamaheni ki he kau kau pelisitoa ʻa e kalauní hange ko e kau solisitoá pe ʻAteni Senialé ke nau kau he kole ki he fakamaau ke fakasiʻisiʻi ha tautea mamafa ʻo ha tokotaha taukapo.

      Naʻe pehē ʻe Pohiva kia Kefu ko ʻene angafaí mahalo pe ne tali ia ʻi he ngaahi puleʻanga ki muʻá ka ki hono puleʻangá oku ʻikai ha meʻa pehē ia ai.

      Naʻe toe pehē foki he meʻa ʻa e Palēmiá kia Kefú ko hono tuku ko ia ʻo fuoloa pea toki fai ni e hopo ʻa Looti Tuʻilakepá ʻoku fiu ia hono fakakaukauʻi pe naʻe tuʻunga nai ʻi he hā.

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