10 Feb 2006

Cooks police said to be concerned daily paper could jeopardise trial

12:48 pm on 10 February 2006

The police commissioner in the Cook Islands is reported as saying he fears publicity given to an alleged burglary victim could jeopardise the trial of the alleged perpetrator.

The weekly Cook Islands Herald reports commissioner Pira Wichman as saying he is concerned at what he calls trial by media.

An official in the prime minister's office Helen Wong claims she and her daughter solved a series of burglaries at Titikaveka.

The daily newspaper, the Cook Islands News, has defended its decision to publicise Mrs Wong's case, along with a series of letters heavily critical of the police.

Commissioner Wichman says things were done by Mrs Wong which were not helpful to the investigation, and that the person charged should be considered innocent until proven guilty.