12 Nov 2011

Nauru's new president says corruption allegations baseless

9:51 am on 12 November 2011

Nauru's new president, Freddie Pitcher, says there is nothing to the allegations of corruption made against the former president Marcus Stephen by the opposition.

Opposition MP David Adeang had alleged that Mr Stephen sought kickbacks from Thai business people buying Nauru phosphate.

Mr Stephen resigned on Thursday saying he didn't want the allegations devaluing the office of the presidency.

Mr Pitcher has replaced him and but has retained Mr Stephen in a reshuffled cabinet line up.

Mr Pitcher says he believes there's nothing to the allegations.

"There was no evidence or proof. I think Marcus himself felt that this whole discussion had become a distraction to parliament and to government and he offered to resign. I think he did a noble thing and I applaud him for it. So far allegations [go] I think they were only allegations. I saw nothing to prove they were anything other than false allegations."