9 Jun 2017

Homecoming for Cook Islands ex-MP free from jail

3:22 pm on 9 June 2017

The former Cook Islands MP, Teina Bishop, has been released from prison and returned to home island of Aitutaki with great fanfare.

Bishop served a six-month term after he was convicted of obtaining a bribe when he was the Minister of Marine Resources.

One Cook Islands Party leader Teina Bishop

One Cook Islands Party leader Teina Bishop Photo: Phillipa Webb / Cook Islands News

The Cook Islands News reports the One Cook Islands leader returned to Aitutaki yesterday, where large numbers of family, friends and supporters turned out to greet his return.

The newspaper reports the airport came to a standstill as a large crowd sang songs of joy.

At a dinner, Bishop said it had been sad to leave prison, but he was grateful to the government and private sponsors for improving basic living conditions at the prison.

He said he planned to put politics aside for the meantime, and would make a decision on his political future in the coming months.