10 Apr 2024

Convicted Cook Islands politician appeals sentence

From , 6:01 am on 10 April 2024
Robert Tapaitau

Robert Tapaitau Photo: RNZ Pacific / Lydia Lewis

Former Cook Islands deputy prime minister Robert Tapaitau, who has been convicted on corruption related charges, is appealing his sentence. 

Mr Tapaitau was given two years and nine months imprisonment after being convicted for three counts of cheque fraud and conspiracy to defraud. 

He and two other senior public figures were convicted of taking $70,000 New Zealand dollars in public funds between April 2019 and March 2021. 

Mr Tapaitau's lawyer, Norman George told RNZ Pacific's Caleb Fotheringham there is no existing precedent for such a harsh penalty.