12 Oct 2011

Cook Islands drugs accused due back in court in November

6:48 am on 12 October 2011

All 11 remaining defendants in the largest ever Cook Islands drug bust are next due in the Cook Islands High Court in Rarotonga on November the 16th.

They include former New Zealand police officer Mark Franklin and former Cook Islands police officer Inano Matapo, as well as her partner, Giovanni Marsters, who is the son of the Cook Islands deputy prime minister, Tom Marsters.

The 11 were arrested after a combined New Zealand/Cook Islands police exercise called Operation Eagle.

In November it is most likely the cases will be further adjourned to a December court date when New Zealand judge Justice Christine Grice will be in Rarotonga.

The crown prosecutor Catherine Evans has indicated trials are not likely until next year.

Two of the original 13 defendants have pleaded guilty and been sentenced.