22 Jan 2004

Mark Lyon's lawyer says he's shocked by suspension of residency permit in Cook Islands

5:35 pm on 22 January 2004

The lawyer for convicted New Zealander Mark Lyon says his client is shocked by the news that authorities in the Cook Islands have suspended his residence permit.

The Prime Minister, Dr Robert Woonton, made the decision to ban Lyon from re-entering the country while police investigate sexual misconduct allegations against him.

Lyon was granted a 12 month residency last year despite objections by the immigration department.

He is currently in New Zealand awaiting sentencing for drugs, assault and weapons charges.

But Lyon's lawyer, MP Norman George says suspending his residency has come as a surprise to him.

"He was quite shocked about it, and so was I. It's quite unfair, it's unprecedented and I was quite disappointed with that action."