17 Jun 2003

Cook Islands Times refuses apology to PM and may face lawsuit

4:20 pm on 17 June 2003

The publisher of the Cook Islands Times says he will not apologise to the prime minister, Dr Robert Woonton, over a story about his overseas travel.

George Pitt says he would rather face a lawsuit, which he is being threatened with, than offer an apology for a story which was accurate.

He says the prime minister did take his wife on two overseas trips when he was only entitled to do so once and money did come from the civil list entitlements which is taxpayer funded.

Mr Pitt says Dr Woonton has his reasons for filing a defamation lawsuit

"I believe that high on the agenda of the Prime Minister's office, and his close advisors, whether it's being instigated by the Prime Minister himself or them, the agenda is to find the ways and means to revoke our television and radio licences."

George Pitt.