19 Jun 2003

Cook Islands prime minister still to decide fate of lawsuit against Pitt Media Group

4:32 pm on 19 June 2003

Lawyers acting on behalf of the Cook Islands Prime Minister say it is up to Dr Robert Woonton to decide whether or not to pursue his defamation suit against the Pitt Media Group.

Karen Harvey says the group, in its Cook Islands Times, published an apology as well as her letter requesting that one be made on behalf of Dr Woonton.

The Prime Minister threatened legal action after the newspaper ran an article quoting unnamed sources saying that public funds were used to pay for Mrs Wooton's trip to Japan.

Ms Harvey says Dr Wooton is becoming increasingly frustrated by inaccurate reporting concerning him in the Cook Islands.

But she says it is up to the prime minister to decide whether the apology is good enough.

"They have included in the most recent article a full copy of my letter and the apology attached, but it doesn't really make it very clear whether that apology has been published as an apology, or simply as part of my letter asking for the apology to be published. But whether the prime minister wants to take it any further, I don't yet have any instructions."

Karen Harvey.