Investigation into MP handed to Crown Law

Thursday December 24, 2015 Written by Published in Local
Cook Islands Party Member of Parliament for Vaipae-Tautu Mona Ioane. 15122310 Cook Islands Party Member of Parliament for Vaipae-Tautu Mona Ioane. 15122310

The Police Commissioner has referred the investigation into Member of Parliament for Vaipae-Tautu Mona Ioane to Crown Law for a legal opinion.

 

The news comes a year after The Court of Appeal found the Cook Islands MP guilty of bribery under the Electoral Act, and it was their duty to pass this onto the police for further investigation

The police investigation into Ioane centres on allegations of bribery through the appointment of a field officer during the 2014 General Election in July last year, sparking the need for the by-election on March 31.

In March, Police Commissioner Maara Tetava told CI News the case was complex, requiring “ongoing meticulous investigation and time”

He denied any political interference in the case.

Despite several attempts by CI News to find out more since then, Tetava has refused to give any updates on the case.

CI News sent an email to his office on Tuesday, asking for more information on the investigation. He responded that it had been referred to Crown Law for a legal opinion.

The Police Commissioner did not elaborate any further on the case, nor was CI News able to reach Crown Law before going to print.

Detective Inspector Areumu Ingaua led the investigation which has included interviews on Aitutaki.

If police lay charges against Ioane, he may choose to stand down from his Vaipae-Tautu electorate seat.

If the MP is convicted, he will be struck off and another by-election will have to be held in the seat of Vaipae-Tautu.  

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