13 Oct 2005

Cooks PM's chief of staff suspended pending probe

6:38 pm on 13 October 2005

The chief of staff for the Cook Islands prime minister has been suspended pending an investigation into the way she managed a hospital project.

The Cook Islands News reports that Denise Rairi has been suspended for two weeks.

This comes as police have confirmed that a probe is underway into the project which remains unfinished while the budget has been overspent.

The newspaper says the estimated cost to carry out the outstanding work is more than 20,000 US dollars.

An audit report alleges that Ms Rairi she committed offences by claiming an allowance that she was not entitled to.