18 Oct 2002

Niue opposition MP to sue government following court success

11:59 am on 18 October 2002

A Niue opposition MP, Terry Coe, is considering suing the government and its agencies after two theft charges against him were dismissed.

Niue's Chief Justice Norman Smith dismissed the charges saying at the end of the prosecution case there was insufficient evidence to continue.

The prosecution had claimed that the thefts took place ten years ago when Mr Coe was principal of Niue High School.

Last year charges from the Government alleging criminal libel by Mr Coe were also withdrawn due to lack of evidence.

Mr Coe says he will sue to recover the costs of bringing a witness from New Zealand and he may also take action over what he sees as political interference in the legal process, particularly by the Public Service Commission.

"They were the one who laid the complaint - that's what the chief of police said. And it has come through the Public Service Commission, and again that's frightening that the Public Service Commissioners telling the police to take the charges right through when there really is not enough evidence."

Terry Coe says he is very relieved that the legal ordeal is over.