2 Jul 2003

Former Cooks top official in court over controversial payment

11:02 am on 2 July 2003

The trial has begun in the Cook Islands of a former top public servant charged with receiving secret payments.

The former chief of staff in the prime minister's office, Eddie Drollet, is charged with receiving about 15-thousand US dollars.

He is alleged to have taken te money from payments made to an accounting firm, ACL, which was hired to manage his office's account.

Drollet, along with the director of ACL, Edward Friend, is charged with seven counts of making and receiving secret commission payments and forging a letter to cover their tracks.