Prominent local lawyer Sifa Tu’utafaiva, who is also a Member of Parliament, was ordered to pay $11,500 by the Chief Justice Michael Scott.
Mr. Tu’utafaiva was counsel for Mr. Hamani Guttenbeil of Vava’u on a civil case, which Mr. Guttenbeil won. The court awarded Mr. Guttenbeil, and the money was transferred to Mr. Tu’utafaiva as his counsel, but the payment never got to Mr. Guttenbeil.
Mr. Guttenbeil hired another lawyer and took civil action against Mr. Tu’utafaiva for the money, and he won.
The money, which Mr. Tu’utafaiva retained, was supposed to be paid in February 2012.
The court order for Mr. Tu’utafaiva to pay up was issued in September.
Mr. Tu’utafaiva could not be contacted for comment as he was away overseas on Parliamentary business.
He is the chairperson of the Full House Committee, and the People’s Representative for District 6 in Tongatapu.
Mrs. Dana Stephenson was counsel for Mr. Guttenbeil.
- TMN News