Noble who was taken to court by bank over massive debt has been appointed ambassador to Gulf state

Ne a'u 'o miliona e mo'ua pangikē Looti 'Akau'ola ne iku ki he fakamaau'anga' ka kuo fili ia 'e he Tu'i' ke ne hoko ko e fakafofonga ki he fonua kūlifa' ni pea 'e kau hono fatongia hono tokanga'i e lau miliona 'oku tafe mei ai ki he ngaahi polōseki fekau'aki mo e maama sola' 'a ia kuo kamata 'i Tonga.

A Tongan Noble who was taken to court last year over a million pa’anga debt has been appointed ambassador to the United Arab Emirates.

Hon. ‘Akau’ola presented his letter of credentials to UAE Minister of State Zaki Nusseibeh in Abu Dhabi.

In June last year Lord ‘Akau’ola was taken to court by the Bank of South Pacific Tonga Ltd over TP$1 million of unpaid debt.

The bank, formerly known as Westpac,  originally obtained a judgement against Lord ‘Akau’ola on February 2, 2010.

Under the judgement, the bank agreed not to take action if Lord ‘Akau’ola made monthly payments at an agreed rate.

Lord ‘Akau’ola made payments until May 2016, but then fell into default.

As Kaniva News reported at the time, Lord Chief Justice Paulsen said he owed TP$833,287 of the principal debt, along with substantial interest.

The judge gave the bank permission to take action to collect the money. 

Amendment

In 2017 the then Justice Minister, Vuna Fā’otusia, said the government wanted to amend the constitution so the Prime Minister could propose to the king candidates they thought appropriate to become Tongan ambassadors to foreign countries.

Hon. Fā’otusia said this would not remove the king’s power to select the kingdom’s  ambassadors.

It was to allow the Prime Minister and the cabinet to become involved in the selection process because it was important to choose the best Tongans for those roles.

Emirates

The Emirates, is one of the richest of the Arabian Gulf states and has begun to establish a presence in the Pacific through the UAE-Pacific Partnership Fund.

The fund has released US$50 million for renewable energy generation projects in 10 Pacific island countries since 2013.

The La’a Lahi ‘Big Sun’ solar plant in Tonga, commissioned in November 2013, was the first project to receive funding from the UAE.

Since last year UAE passport holders have been exempt from needed a visitor’s visa.

The main points

  • A Tongan Noble who was taken to court last year over a million pa’anga debt has been appointed ambassador to the United Arab Emirates.
  • Hon. ‘Akau’ola presented his letter of credentials to UAE Minister of State Zaki Nusseibeh in Abu Dhabi.

For more information

Court gives bank permission to take action over massive debt owed by Lord ‘Akau’ola

UAE Plans Renewable Energy Projects In Five Pacific Nations

King’s judicial committee causes instability in the country, Justice Minister says

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