20 Apr 2005

Cook Islands public servant convicted of theft

1:15 pm on 20 April 2005

A Cook Islands jury has found a worker in a Cabinet Minister's office guilty on two counts of the theft of public money.

Junior Areai was found guilty of failing to account, and converting for his own use eight thousand New Zealand dollars he received from a New Zealand company after he purchased a $57,000 grader with a $65,000 government bank draft.

The Cook Islands news reports Areai will be sentenced by Justice Colin Nicholson later this week.

He has been granted bail so he can make preparations for his family before his sentencing.