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Letter: Checks and balances

Wednesday 7 February 2024 | Written by Supplied | Published in Letters to the Editor, Opinion

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Letter: Checks and balances

In his first statement since the result of the court case in which Robert Tapaitau, Nga Puna and Puna’s wife, Diane Charlie-Puna, the former secretary of Infrastructure Cook Islands, were found guilty of fraud, Prime Minister Mark Brown said “no person is above the law”.

I hope Mr Brown is including himself in that, because he too as PM is not above the same law he talks about. One needs only to think of stray text messages, Te Mato Vai blow out and countless appointments by his Cabinet that have contravened not only the Public Service Act but also the integrity of the public service and the Public Service Commissioner.

“This case has demonstrated the integrity of our judicial process,” Brown said. “No person is above the law, our system of checks and balances has not been compromised; and if you are found to be in breach of the law, you will be held to account.” Actually Mr Brown, the judiciary's integrity has never been in question, rather it has been the Cook Islands Party government and its Ministers and the Cook Islands Party heads of ministry they have appointed that have been in question.

PM Brown's words may come back to haunt him, that no man is above the law, because in that instance he is absolutely correct. No man includes Prime MInisters and members of his Cabinet, and no man is free from the privileges, responsibilities and consequences of his decisions, both public and private, especially the leader of a country.

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