Date: 23 April 2007
Auckland 6am: Tonga's frontman for pro-democracy, Aikilisi Pohiva, was in Auckland briefly over the weekend after managing to get authorities to let him leave the Kingdom.

Pohiva's the first pro-democracy leader allowed out after authorities applied a lock down following last year's Black Thursday Riots and the state of emergency laws.

The MP's visit was a brief one, as he heads to Canberra to speak at the Australian National University about what's happening in Tonga.

But he said he'll be taking every opportunity, while away to rally support for the people's struggle for reform and democratic rule. (listen)

Pohiva will talk to Kiwi lawyers on his way back from Canberra.

Meanwhile, Tongan police have stepped up their prosecution of journalists from the pro-democracy movement's Kele'a newspaper, with the recent arrest of senior reporter Falisi Tupou.

Pohiva says the charges of sedition and defamation against Falisi Tupou relate to using the word utukovi, which means bad brain, to describe The King, and writing a story about the alleged importing of drugs by the son of one of the directors of the Shoreline Power company. (listen)


Kele'a editor Tavake Fusimalohi has already been charged with sedition and defamation.

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