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Prime Minister: Justice Andrew's Statement Totally Untrue

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01 September 2010. Press Release. The Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon Feleti Vaka'uta Sevele, yesterday stated that Justice Andrew's statement that Cabinet had prematurely discontinued his appointment as Supreme Court judge was totally untrue and that Cabinet did no more than accede to his request to resign early from his appointment in order to take up a new one in Australia.

According to the Hon Prime Minister, Justice Andrew had been appointed as Supreme Court Judge on 11 May 2007 for two years, and this was extended for another two years until 11 May 2011. On 5 July 2010 he wrote to Government giving notice of his resignation because, according to his letter, "I have accepted a Judicial Appointment in Australia. This is to commence before the termination date and I therefore propose to take leave which is due to me, to commence on Monday 16th August until 5th October 2010."

Cabinet on 14 July acceded to Justice Andrew's request by deciding, "That the application for resignation of Hon Justice Warwick Andrew as Judge of Supreme Court of Tonga be accepted with effect from 5th October, 2010, but leaving his post on 16th August 201." Justice Andrew would have been aware that Chief Justice Ford would also be leaving Tonga on the 16th of August.

The Hon Prime Minister said that in that same decision Cabinet also noted that since the Chief Justice would also be leaving on 16th August to take up an appointment with the NZ Employment Court, there was an urgent need for the recruitment of a replacement judge, so it set in motion the process for such recruitment.

On 29th July, Justice Andrew again wrote to Government requesting that his resignation be still effective from 5th October but that he would only take leave from 16 August to 26 August. On 30th July he wrote to the Minister for Justice stating that he was willing to withdraw his resignation altogether if he were to be appointed as Chief Justice.

Prime Minister Sevele said, "As far as Cabinet was concerned it had been magnanimous in agreeing to Justice Andrew's request to resign early to take up his new appointment in Australia, even though it put us in the lurch as Chief Justice Ford was also leaving on the same date to take up his new appointment in New Zealand. For him to now claim that we have done him and the people of Tonga an injustice is totally untrue and amounts to utter hypocrisy coming from someone who appears unable to make up his own mind!"



Issued by: The PMO Website Bureau, Prime Minister's Office, P.O. Box 62, Nuku'alofa, Tonga.
Telephone: (676) 24 644 Fax: (676) 23 888 Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Last Updated ( Friday, 08 March 2013 12:47 )  

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