10 Feb 2016

Calls for Cooks MP to be suspended

6:06 pm on 10 February 2016

The Cook Islands opposition is calling on the prime minister Henry Puna to suspend a cabinet minister who is being investigated by the Financial Intelligence Unit.

The Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna.

The Cook Islands Prime Minister Henry Puna. Photo: AFP/FILE

The Democratic Party's deputy leader Tamaiva Tuavera said the investigation against deputy prime minister Teariki Heather was very serious.

While the FIU has not revealed the nature of the complaint that led to the investigation, Mr Tuavera said it involves the purchase of a piece of bobcat equipment by Infrastructure Cook Islands, of which Mr Heather is minister.

"We felt that we should ask the prime minister to suspend Teariki Heather, simply because he is minister for ICI (which) the FIU is looking into because of the allegations of a bobcat being used."

Mr Tuavera said it was unlikely Mr Puna would suspend one of his ministers, as he needs the numbers in his party.

Mr Heather is the third minister to come under investigation for alleged corruption in the last four years.