22 Oct 2011

Cook Islands remand prisoner on his way to NZ

11:39 am on 22 October 2011

A Cook Islands remand prisoner Daniel Hewitt is on his way to New Zealand, following the withdrawal of three criminal charges against him.

Charged with wounding and assaulting with intent to injure, Hewitt had been on remand at Rarotonga's prison for months.

Justice Patrick Savage had earlier made an order that Hewitt be taken into medical custody and transferred to New Zealand for treatment.

The crown prosecutor, Catherine Evans told a sitting of JPs this week that Hewitt is not of sound mind and not fit to enter pleas to the charges, so the charges were withdrawn.

Technically Hewitt is no longer in police custody, or that of the prison service, but is under the responsibility of the Cook Islands Ministry of Health.