13 Jul 2015

Former Cooks govt minister may be charged

2:01 pm on 13 July 2015

Police in the Cook Islands say they have enough evidence to charge a former government minister, after a lengthy and "complex" investigation.

Cook Islands Parliament

Cook Islands Parliament Photo: Supplied

The police commissioner, Maara Tetava, says the investigation used the help of the New Zealand Serious Fraud Office, after police received reports in 2013 accusing an unnamed former MP of corruption and bribery.

The Ministry of Justice deputy registrar, Nooapii Tearea, has confirmed papers had been filed with the High Court.

If the charges are laid and proved, the former MP could face up to 14 years in prison.

Mr Tetava says he was very conscious of the need to maintain the separation of powers between police and the government during the investigation.

He says any inference that political influence was exerted on the police is unacceptable.

Justice Colin Doherty is scheduled to deal with the matter on July the 20th.