Decision by Pacific Sport Council to sue Tonga “a waste of time”, says Justice Minister

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Minister of Justice Hon. Vuna Fā'otusia. Photo/Kalino Lātū

Tonga’s Minister of Justice says a decision by the Pacific Sport Council to sue Tonga after it
cancelled hosting the Pacific Games in 2019 was a waste of time.

The Tonga Association of Sport and National Olympic Committee confirmed yesterday that
the Pacific Games Council (PGC) General Assembly fully supported taking Legal action
against the Tongan Government.

“All the members of the PGC General Assembly supported the legal action against the
Government of Tonga because of its cancellation of the hosting of the 2019 Pacific Games,”
the TASANOC statement said.

“The steps taken by the General Assembly of the Pacific Games Council to sue the
Government of Tonga was given full support by the membership of the Council – the 22
countries and territories of the Pacific – at its meeting held in Port Vila last Sunday, 10th
December, at the half-way point of the 2017 Vanuatu Pacific Games.”

It said the Council’s legal counsel in Tonga, lawyer William Edwards Jnr, has been instructed
to proceed on its behalf.

The damages sought by the Council were reported to be in the millions, it said.

However, the Minister of Justice, Hon. Vuna Fā’otusia, has questioned the grounds for action and the jurisdiction of the legal action taken by the Pacific body.

“What is the damage?” he asked.

“We told them we cannot afford hosting the Games and we do not have money for the upkeep and maintenance of the facilities after the Games.”

“Which court are they going to take the government to? The international Court?”

As Kaniva News reported in May, the Tongan government cancelled the Games because it decided it could not afford the expenses.

In June Parliament voted 12-9 to defeat a motion to keep the Games in Tonga.

Meanwhile, the Council has suspended Tahiti’s Pacific Games Association PGC membership
from the Games after a boycott organized by the French Polynesian Government – which
requested its local sporting federations not attend the 2017 Mini Games.

The French territory boycotted the event because the PGC continued to recognise a local
boxing federation that had been dismissed by the Government in favour of a rival boxing
federation.

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