15 Jan 2004

Cook Islands group gives PM deadline over Lyon permit

11:42 am on 15 January 2004

The Cook Islands Concerned Citizen's Group has given the Prime Minister until January the 20th to revoke convicted New Zealand millionaire Mark Lyon's residency permit, or they will take the matter to court.

A spokesperson for the group, June Baudinet, says statements obtained by the group from two teenage girls were read out to Dr Robert Woonton at a meeting this week.

She says the two allege that there has been sexual misconduct, drug use and pornographic material at parties at Lyon's house.

"''We have signed statements from these girls, one 15-year-old, one 17-year-old, witnessed by the Bishop of the Cook Islands Roman Catholic Church."

The Bishop, Mr Stuart O'Conor, says that while he has no proof that the statements are true, the teenagers came to him looking for support.

Meanwhile, the group is also attempting to instigate a professional misconduct complaint against Lyon's lawyer, Norman George.

They allege that Mr George used his position as MP to get approval for Lyon's residence application and that as legal advisor for Dr Woonton, there was a conflict of interest.