In a tiny country like the Kingdom of Tonga a tragedy like this affects everyone-I can only hope the convictions bring some closure.Having driven by the prison-which is on a main road-I know the sentences will be long and hard-as they should be (external - login to view)

Guilty on all counts, including manslaughter, in tragedy

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, April 1, 2011) – Four men charged in relation to the sinking of the Tonga inter-island ferry "Ashika" have been remanded in custody after being found guilty on all charges in relation to the disaster.
The four are John Jonesse, the New Zealander who had been chief executive of the Shipping Corporation of Polynesia, the Ashika’s captain Maka Tuputupu, his first mate Semisi Pomale, and a former director of the ministry of transport, Viliami Tu’ipulotu.
The corporation was also convicted.
The men had sought bail but this has been denied.
They’ve been convicted on 30 counts, including one each of manslaughter by negligence in relation to the death of Vaefetu’u Mahe, whose body was one of just two recovered after the sinking.
The seven week long trial concluded this morning when the seven person panel of assessors announced their verdicts after just over a day of deliberations.
The Solicitor General and Crown Prosecutor Aminiasi Kefu says the four men could face jail terms of up to ten years for the manslaughter charge, while the shipping company is likely to be fined.
Mr Kefu says he’s not surprised by the verdict and he believes they had a strong case against the accused.
"I’m just pleased that the whole process has gone through without a hitch and the jury have managed to make a decision. I was starting to get worried that it was taking more than a day and a half."
Aminiasi Kefu says the accused could still appeal the verdict.