Busy month for Chief Justice

Wednesday September 16, 2015 Written by Published in Crime

Cook Islands Chief Justice Tom Weston has his work cut out for him this month with a string of high profile trials and sentencing lined up.


The Rarotonga High Court will be inundated with various civil and criminal cases from manslaughter to a petition for divorce.

The first case kicked off on Monday with a jury trial for a police officer accused of “motor manslaughter.”

The court also saw Douglas Tau stand before a jury on charges of cultivation of cannabis and possession of a utensil for drug use.

The trials will continue through today at the Rarotonga High Court before other matters are brought forward.

Tomorrow morning, Justice Weston will carry out a criminal sentencing indication for Terea Maruaau who stands accused of arson, receiving, escape from lawful custody and contempt of court.

That same afternoon and continuing through till next Monday, Vaiana George will stand trial before a jury charged with careless driving causing bodily harm.

On Friday, the case against George will continue as well as another careless driving sentencing for Sharnia Metuarau.

On Wednesday, a long awaited court decision on the fate of the Miss Cook Islands debacle will be delivered.

The next big cases don’t begin until the following Thursday, with a criminal sentencing for Thomas Neale who is charged with threatening to kill and wounding with intent to cause injury.

The rest of the day will see Justice Weston presiding over three different civil cases including Tavioni versus Cook Islands Christian Church.

Two other criminal sentencings, four civil cases and one petition for divorce will take up the final day of proceedings before Justice Weston who returns to New Zealand on Sunday September 27.

Justice Weston has been a judge of the Cook Islands High Court for four and a half years.

He is one of the senior QCs (Queen’s Counsel) practising at the Bar in New Zealand. 

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