9 Mar 2006

Cooks government gags sacked high commissioner

2:24 pm on 9 March 2006

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Cook Islands has gagged Dr Robert Woonton from speaking with the media following his sacking as the high commissioner to New Zealand.

A spokesperson at the High Commission in Wellington said Dr Woonton was still based at the commission but was not able to talk to journalists on direction from the government in the Cook Islands.

A former prime minister, Dr Woonton, has up to four weeks to vacate his residence and office in Wellington, and he's expected to return to medical work in Auckland.

The foreign minister Wilkie Rasmussen says Dr Woonton arranged a conspiracy and brought together MPs to try to overthrow the government.