Tuesday, 31 August 2010 8:31 AM

Tonga Declines Government's Request

Tongan authorities will conduct their own investigations into the recent shooting and death of a former police officer from Guadalcanal Province, according to laws of the Kingdom of Tonga.

The rock throwing incident at Titinge on the 12th of this month which led to the death of the late Harry Lolongo had prompted the Solomon Islands government, through the Attorney General Gabriel Suri, to send two requests to the Tongan government through his Tongan counterpart.

The two requests included waiving two components under the Assistance Mission Facilitation Act to pave way for the two Tongan military personnel involved to be tried the country and to give authority for Solomon Islands to have jurisdiction as RAMSI officers have preserved criminal disciplinary jurisdiction.

Speaking to SIBC News, Attorney General Gabriel Suri confirmed that the Tongan cabinet had declined the requests because according to their views and findings, there is no evidence of criminal culpability on the part of the Tongan military personnel.

Mr Suri says the Tongan Cabinet was of the view that their personnel were acting in self defence in a highly dangerous situation and that they had acted within the rules of engagement.

The Attorney General explains that the Tongan authorities declined to waiver the immunity and then asserted jurisdiction over members of the Tongan Defence Force Platoon.

Mr Suri says the Tongan Solicitor General also explained how investigations in Tonga will be carried out.