22 Apr 2004

NZ judge to determine Lyon's advisor role

1:26 pm on 22 April 2004

A New Zealand judge will decide whether a commission of inquiry will be set up into the actions of the advisor to the Cook Island Prime Minister over a residency issue.

The Concerned Citizens Group wants an inquiry into Norman George, who was the lawyer of convicted New Zealand businessman, Mark Lyon.

It says the judge will decide the course of action.

Mr George was alleged to have been paid 150-thousand New Zealand dollars for helping Mr Lyon's get residency, which was later suspended while police looked at miscionduct allegations against him.

The MP later returned two thirds of the cash and kept the remaining portion as fees.

A spokesperson for the Concerned Citizens Group, June Baudinet, says Mr George should be sacked for his actions.

"He is responsible for instigating the Prime Minister to issue the resident's permit to Mark Lyon, without going through the proper channels, and accepting a huge amount of money by Mark Lyon. And we felt it a conflict of interest."

June Baudinet says they are also lobbying the Prime minister to have the commission of enquiry into Norman George.

But she says Mr George's role as advisor to the Prime Minister makes it difficult.