4 Sep 2002

Cook Islands police lay further charges against top official

7:05 am on 4 September 2002

Further charges have been laid in the Cook Islands against a top government official and a colleague who already face fraud-related charges.

Deputy police commissioner, Maara Tetava, says police expect to refer the case to the Solicitor general's office within the next week for prosecution by crown law.

But, Mr Tetava, says the police won't be appealing against name and fact suppression until the case is over.

"We think it be unfair at this stage for the names and identification of the defendants to be revealed. We're still continuing with our inquiries, we've in fact laid further charges but we will certainly consider appealing if the name suppression continues after a guilty plea has been entered or after the trial."

The deputy police commissioner says they're investigating the fact that two New Zealand papers published the names and occupations of the officials involved.