Australian police have confirmed a report published in Kaniva News yesterday that the king’s matāpule ma’utofi’a (herald), Sione Lauaki, was wanted by police in Victoria.
An e-mail from Victoria Police to Radio 531 PI this morning seen by Kaniva said that that Lauaki had been arrested and the warrant against him cleared.
Lauaki was charged with recklessly causing injury during an incident in 2014, but failed to appear in court.
After our story appeared, a family member claimed that it was a family issue and had been sorted out with Victorian Police.
Fuifuilupe Manuha’apai said there was a family incident in 2014 after which Lauaki was meant to appear in court in Australia, but did not. She said this was because Lauaki was travelling to Tonga at the time.
Victorian Police have yet to make available the details of the incident and the charges against Lauaki.
As we reported, the Australian Star Weekly published a photo of the king’s matāpule (herald), saying he had been “charged with recklessly causing injury.”
“He was due to front court on May 28, 2014, and never showed up. Lauaki remains at large and an active warrant for arrest remains in existence,” the Star Weekly said.
Manuha’apai said his tuonga’ane’s (brother’s) name was put on the most wanted list to “warrant” that he had to return to court and faced his charges.
An e-mail from Victoria Police this morning has confirmed the report.
“The information published by the Star Weekly is correct and was provided by police. However the warrant has since been cleared, which means he was arrested,” the email read.
The news has divided the public on social media.
Many were astonished, while some who appeared to be family, friends and residents of the king’s hereditary estate holder did not want to accept the news.
Some supporters of Lauaki called on Kaniva to pull down the story depicting it as “fake news”.
Some of them threatened Kaniva with physical attacks.
Some family members insisted the Sione Lauaki named in the story was not Lauaki, the matāpule ma’utofi’a.
Some swore on Kaniva’s Facebook pages, saying we should have not published it because it tarnished Lauaki’s reputation.
None of these disgruntled supporters and family members denied that Lauaki was the person in the photo released by the Victorian Police to the Star Weekly.
In response to negative comments against the news Kaniva Tonga moderators on our Facebook pages deleted these comments and told the writers to contact us directly and raise their concerns.
Our policy restricted our moderators from responding directly on Facebook to any complaints against our news. We urge complainants to contact Kaniva directly as in that way we can tell how genuine the complaint is and the complaint can be handled professionally.
None of those who complained about the story contacted us.
Other writers lashed out at these critics saying they were demented with emotion and worry.
Some said Kaniva was doing its job and reporting a notice given by the Victorian Police to the Star Weekly.
Manuha’apai took to Facebook this morning and apologised to the family and anyone who was affected by the incident.
She confirmed Kaniva was correct when it referred to Lauaki in the Star Weekly, as the king’s top matāpule.
She wrote that Lauaki was her brother and is also known as Kavakilo’amanu, who serves His Majesty King Tupou VI and the fonua (nation).
Her post in Tongan on Facebook is written verbatim below:
“Malo hoomou Lelei pea tau Fakafetai ihe etau kei mataa ae Moui…Kole fzkamolemole atu kihe taha kotoape oku uesia ihe ISSUE KO ENI…….
KO LAUAKI pe ko Kavakiloamanu Kohoku Tuonga’ane kakoe Mataapule (LAUAKI )Mautofi’a FAKAHOKO FATONGIA Kiheene ‘ Afio Tupou 6 moe Fonua o Tonga(Talafoou )
FEKAUAKI MOE Star Weekly Australia KOE ISSUE FKFAMILI PE AMAUTOLU IHE 2014 NAE HOKO AI ihe Taimi koia nae fiemau mai Mei he COURT Oku lolotonga Folau ia ki Tonga o fkhoko fatogia ai pea koe MOST WANTED ke warrant ke foki ange o SORT OUT AE ISSUE PEA KOIA AI KAINGA KUO OSI SORT E ISSUE PEA MOE KAU POLISI IA….koe mea mahuinga koetau feiloaki FIEFIA IHE MOUI FEMAATAAKI KIHE MEDIA ni….OKU IKAI KOHA HIA MAMAFA MO FAKALILIFU KE FAI HA SIO KIAI pe nae mole ha moui ai koe ISSUE FAKAFAMILY PE AMAUTOLU PEA KUO LAVA LELEI HONO SOLOVA. …Fakamalo atu kihe Media moe taha kotoape hoomou TOKONI MOE HUFAKI MOE OFA ki hoku tuongaane LAUAKI pehee Kia moutolu kotoape family and friends kotoape I he KOLOPE. ..
OFA LAHI ATU MOE HUFAKI MOE FAKAAPAAPA ATU MEIHE FUNGAFAITE TALA A FAFINE. …
Tau FIEFIA MO FAKAFETAI IHE MEA KOTOA PE.
OFAATU MOE HUFAKI”.
Below is a screenshot of Fuifuilupe Manuhaʻapai’s post on Facebook
The main points
- Australian police have confirmed a report published in Kaniva News yesterday that the king’s matapule ma’utofi’a (herald), Sione Lauaki, was wanted by police in Victoria.
- Victoria Police told Kaniva News this morning that Lauaki had been arrested and the warrant against him cleared.
- Lauaki was charged with recklessly causing injury during an incident in 2014.
- He failed to appear in court.
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