7 Sep 2011

Entrapment claim in Cooks drugs case

5:59 pm on 7 September 2011

The defence in a high-profile drugs case in the Cook Islands is expected to claim entrapment in a pre-trial application.

The case relates to Operation Eagle which last May saw the arrest of 13 people, including a former high-ranking New Zealand police officer Mark Franklin charged with four counts of selling and possessing cannabis in Rarotonga.

The defence lawyer, Norman George, says there was entrapment in relation to police obtaining evidence by using undercover officers, which he wants to be struck out.

The Cook Islands News says it has been revealed that tape recordings of an undercover officer, or officers, allegedly procuring drugs from defendants are being analysed in New Zealand for evidential purposes.

The crown prosecutor Catherine Evans accepts that a pre-trial issue for prosecution will be the admissibility of evidence.

A trial is not expected before next year.