TBC boss responds to claims he threatened to throw sacked TCC CEO out of window

    The new chair of the Tonga Broadcasting Commission board said this week he was ready to respond in court to claims he and a colleague threatened to throw the former CEO of the Tonga Communication Corporation out of a window.

    ‘Ahongalu Fusimalohi also said he would refute claims that they threatened to beat up  Rizvi Jurangpathy while they questioned him during an internal investigation.

    Fusimalohi reportedly said Jurangpathy was not helpful during the investigation and his behaviour had drawn them into an argument which escalated to a point where language used was interpreted by Jurangpathy and his lawyer as threatening.

    Fusimalohi was responding to claims by Jurangpathy’s lawyer made in Kakalu ‘o Tonga newspaper that his client had secretly taped the interview and would submit the recording in court if the government refused to settle their civil action.

    Fusimalohi and TCC board director Saia Fonua were questioning Jurangpathy as part of an internal investigation into allegations of misdemeanour and corruption by TCC staff.

    He told Kakalu anyone who was interested needed to listen to the whole of the recording and what had happened before the interview began to understand what he said to Jurangpathy.

    Jurangpathy’s employment contract was terminated on April 21 after the TCC alleged he deliberately and incorrectly declared the company’s net profit for 2014-15 financial year as TP$2.2 million.

    This caused the TCC to pay its shareholder, the government, a dividend of TP$1.5 million.

    The Corporation said Jurangpathy failed to declare that the TCC still owed TP$600,000 to creditors, allowing him to incorrectly receive a TP$20,000 bonus.

    The TCC demanded he repay the bonus and vacate his Corporation-provided housing in Tofoa.

    Jurangpathy’s lawyer filed a civil action against the TCC in the Supreme Court on April 28.

    They demanded the corporation pay more than $TP400,000  for damages of salary, other financial benefit entitlements including breach of natural justice, procedural impropriety and failure to take into account relevant factors.

    Jurangpathy is also awaiting a Supreme Court decision on a lawsuit he took against Kele’a newspaper after the paper alleged he had committed indecent acts upon, and was having affairs with, staff members, was misusing TCC funds and dismissing employees for improper reasons.

    He denied the allegations.

    The main points

    • The new chair of the Tonga Broadcasting Commission board said today he was ready to respond in court to claims he and a colleague threatened to throw the former CEO of the Tonga Communication Corporation out of a window.
    • ‘Ahongalu Fusimalohi also said he would refute claims that they threatened to beat up Rizvi Jurangpathy while they questioned him during an internal investigation.
    • Fusimalohi was responding to claims by Jurangpathy’s lawyer made in Kakalu ‘o Tonga newspaper that his client would submit a recording of the interview in court if the government did not settle his claim.
    • Jurangpathy’s employment contract was terminated on April 21.

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