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Letter: The real cost of their crimes

Thursday 4 April 2024 | Written by Supplied | Published in Letters to the Editor, Opinion


Letter: The real cost of their crimes

Dear Editor, I raise questions on the sentencing of former Cook Islands deputy prime minister Robert Tapaitau and two other former high-ranking Government officials (Nga Puna and Diane Charlie-Puna), handed jail terms for fraud and corruption charges.

They took public funds of about $70,000, and I wonder about the context of their crimes, subsequent investigations, arrests, Tapaitau’s reinstatements, their trial, consequent sentences, and the eventual social and financial costs to the Cook Islands.

There is a consensus they were scapegoats following a long history of lies and deception in the halls of public power.

I think about how other jurisdictions, such as New Zealand might deal with their crimes.

Al Williams  

Editor’s note: Al Williams, formerly the deputy editor of Cook Islands News, closely followed this court case, reporting on both the trial in June of last year and the judgment released earlier this year.