3 Oct 2005

Cooks police probe cabinet minister Vaevae Pare

3:47 pm on 3 October 2005

The Cook Islands police criminal investigation branch is conducting investigations into an allegation of wrongful use of public funds against a cabinet minister, Peri Vaevae Pare.

The Cook Islands News reports that the deputy police commissioner Maara Tetava has confirmed that police received a complaint last Tuesday.

The complainant's identity has not been revealed.

Mr Vaevae Pare made the investigation public knowledge during Thursday's parliamentary session and has since relinquished his portfolio of police to the prime minister, Jim Marurai.

Mr Tetava says the minister's decision to stand aside was the right one to avoid speculation that he may interfere with the investigation.

The Cook Islands News says further information will have to wait until the police investigation has been completed.