Million grant given to Tongasat was for “the people” – Chinese Embassy

The lawsuit filed against the government of Tonga and Her Royal Highness Princess Pilolevu Tuita is heading to the Supreme Court of Appeal, it has been reported this week.

Tonga Democratic Party Leader ‘Akilisi Pōhiva has accused the defendants, Prime Minister of Tonga Lord Tu’ivakano, Princess Pilolevu, owner of the Tongasat and Hon Clive Edwards for allegedly committing crime of larceny and receiving stolen property.

He claimed a US$24.45 million grant from China to Tonga was illegally transferred to Tongasat company at the request of Her Royal Highness. The legal action came after Pōhiva obtained leaked correspondences between the government and the Princess regarding the China grant.

A press release last November by the government says it received “USD49.9 million aid grant from China for economic and technical developments.”

It also confirmed how the grant was transferred to the princess’s private company.

Dr Feleti Sevele, former Prime Minister of Tonga told Indira Moala of Radio ABC this week that claims the transference of the money were illegal “are false”

He said the funds were “never public funds but a private deal between Tongasat and the Chinese government”.

The Chinese Ambassador Xiao Fei Sun in Nuku’alofa however confirmed to the ABC the money was for “the development of the local society and economy, for the benefit the people.”

Sun told ABC that all grant funds from China were paid “under our aid policy”.

Kaniva News understands MP Pohiva is currently in the process of filing the appeal at Nuku’alofa supreme court.

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