6 May 2004

Concerned Citizens' Group not intimidated by Cooks Islands MP legal action

3:39 pm on 6 May 2004

The much-anticipated legal action by Cook Islands MP Norman George against his critics has got underway and summonses claiming millions of dollars in damages have been issued.

The action relates mostly to comments made over revelations that convicted New Zealander Mark Lyon paid 150,000 New Zealand dollars into Mr George's account as bond for residency in the Cook Islands.

Among those to receive the letters warning of libel action were some of Mr George's fiercest critics including members of the Concerned Citizens Group and the Pitt Media group.

Elizabeth Ponga of the Concerned Citizens Group says Mr George will have a hard time proving that they have defamed him.

She says her Group was following the appropriate channels in demanding an answer over the issue of Lyon's bond money.

"I will not apologise in the sense that what I did and how I acted was within the public interest and the safety of this country, so I will not apologise for the action that I have taken. If it's going to take us to court, take us to court, prove that we we did was wrong."

Elizabeth Ponga