21 Aug 2002

Prosecution approved the defence's application of fact suppression for top Cook Islands official acc

6:00 pm on 21 August 2002

A top official facing fraud-related charges in the Cook Islands will have total suppression surrounding the case continued until at least the end of the month.

The registrar of the high court, No-oapi Tearea, says name, occupation and any facts will not be made public until the matter is heard in court on August 29th when a trial date will be determined.

Mr Tearea says name suppression is automatically granted under law and the application for occupation and fact suppression was agreed to by the prosecution.

He says it's up to the court to decide whether or not to lift the suppression order or grant a permanent one.

"The name is spelt out in the act, but since the defense council asked for facts to be suppressed as well and the prosecution concedes to that been the courts at their discretion whether or not to suppress those additional requests."

The Crown law office says it's yet to decide whether to appeal against the suppression orders.

A member of New Zealand's serious fraud office is assisting in the case and a computer foresics experts has also been called in.