Justice Minister Sāmiu Vaipulu sues anti-drugs campaigner for defamation

    The Minister of Justice  Sāmiu Vaipulu is suing Anti-Drugs campaigner Afemeimo’unga Hola over a Facebook livestream post  that he claims has defamed him.

    Hola alleged Vaipulu has been one of drugs ring leaders in Tonga.

    The Minister and MP for Vava’u 15  had described the allegations as lies and is suing Hola for TOP$10,000.

    The legal action came after Princess Pilolevu and Lawyer William Clive Edwards Senior sued Hola for $10,000 each for the same allegations.

    Hola has been widely supported and he recently received TOP$22,000 to pay for his lawyers and legal fees.

    Hola has been the centre of media attention this year as a former user who has become an anti-drugs campaigner, working with school children and warning them of the evil nature of the trade.

    He has been described as the first major crusader against drugs in Tonga

    However, he has also been a divisive figure and has received death threats following his allegations. One person from Tongatapu, threatened to kill a member of his family. Another, apparently living in Hawai’i, went online and threatened to send hitmen after him.

    It has been claimed that both people were royalists.

    Despite initially vowing to kill the person in Tongatapu, Hola later said he had forgiven him.

    The threats were made in the wake of Hola’s claims about Princess Pilolevu.

    Princess Pilolevu’s two sons-in-law, Sione Filipe Jr and ‘Epeli Taione have been arrested and charged in relation to illicit drugs. Taione, who was charged with possession of Class A drugs, received a 12-month suspended imprisonment sentence early this year.

    Hola is expected to re-appear in court on September 24.

    He has been banned by the courts from using Facebook and the internet because his case is before the magistrate’s court.

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