22 Oct 2002

Cook Islands police arrest man in connection with murder of woman

5:34 am on 22 October 2002

Cook Islands police in Rarotonga have arrested a man in connection with last month's murder of a 31-year-old woman.

She was bludgeoned to death while asleep in her home.

Police have released few details of the arrest and what charges will be laid.

The murder has shocked the Cook Islands and women's groups have called for tougher sentencing for violent crimes.

In reponse to those calls, the justice minister, Norman George, has said he will propose tougher sentences when parliament resumes.

In the Cook Islands the sentence for murder is life imprisonment, which is 14 years behind bars.

Life prisoners can seek parole after serving ten years.