18 Feb 2004

Cook Islands police launch appeal against court finding in de Groot motor case

11:17 am on 18 February 2004

The Cook Islands police say they hope to find out by the end of the week whether their case against expatriate Ron de Groot, will be reconsidered by the courts.

It was thrown out on February 5th with the court stating that the police had not been properly prepared.

Mr de Groot had been charged with careless use of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm after he allegedly hit local resident, Metua Tavai, who was on her motorbike, in June 2002.

The long running case has upset Ms Tavai but deputy police commissioner, Ma-ara Tetava, says he can't explain the reasons behind the court throwing out the case prior to the appeal being heard.

"' What I can say now is that we have, the police have filed a notice of appeal and that is now before the chief justice. A time and date for the hearing for that appeal is yet to be set and that's really all I can comment on at the moment."

Mr Tetava says they couldn't charge Mr de Groot until March last year because of insufficient evidence.

And, because he had left the country, they couldn't serve a summons on him until November last year.