9 Apr 2013

New Cooks drug trial opens

3:25 pm on 9 April 2013

The latest trial following the Cook Islands biggest ever drugs bust nearly two years ago has opened.

Operation Eagle, which involved police assistance in New Zealand, initially saw 13 people charged in May 2011, including a former New Zealand police detective..

In the latest trial, Scott Arlander, the owner of Rehab Bar and Nightclub, is facing 31 charges - including cultivating, selling and possession of cannabis for supply, and importing LSD.

Five days have been set aside for the jury trial.

Last July, three of Mr Arlander's co-defendants were jailed after pleading guilty.

They included Giovanni Marsters, the son of a former deputy prime minister, who was jailed for six years and a former police officer, Inano Matapo, who got two and a half years jail.