MPs and Cabinet Ministers alleged campaign finance violations trial delayed by lawyer’s illness

    Seven MPs and Cabinet Ministers alleged overspending and bribery trial is adjourned until April 14 after one of the lawyers took ill.

    Tonga Parliament. Photo/Fale Alea ‘o Tonga (Facebook)

    The delay on Thursday came after unsuccessful candidate Paula Piveni Piukala, who was representing himself in the lawsuit he brought against the Minister of Internal Affairs Sangstar Saulala informed the judge that he needed to seek medical attention.

    It was unclear whether the illness was related to COVID-19.

    It is understood the court was told the following day Piukala was still sick.

    Hon Saulala posted a get-well-soon status for Piukala and asked his followers to pray for him.

    “We have different political views but we all Tongans,” he said.

    As Kaniva News reported this week, the former Prime Minister and six other MPs had been charged after Tonga 2021 general election.

    They appeared in court this week March 31.

    The lawsuits had been brought against them by the PTOA Party.

    The accused MPs are Tēvita Puloka of Tongatapu 1, MP Dr Pingi Fasi of Tongatapu 2, Minister of Finance and MP for Tongatapu 4 Tatafu Moeaki, MP ‘Aisake Eke of Tongatapu 5, Minister of Internal Affairs and MP for Tongatapu 7  Sangstar Saulala and former Prime Minister and MP for Tongatapu 10 Pōhiva Tu’i’onetoa.

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