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LETTERS: In search of the truth

Thursday 10 March 2022 | Written by Supplied | Published in Letters to the Editor, Opinion


LETTERS: In search of the truth

Dear Editor, when a Prime Minister says something, people normally pay attention, but when that same Prime Minister, Mark Brown in this case, utters untruths or a lie, someone has to call him to account.

I am that someone. In Tuesday, March 8 edition of Cook Islands News (PM Brown seeking legal cost among cases in High Court), Mark Brown stated, “In the last year we have spent our time protecting our people from Covid making sure we save their lives, putting an effort into saving businesses and workers of this country, they (Citizens Against Corruption) have been spending their time trying to overthrow the government.” (Editor: The article stated the comments were made by the Prime Minister after he and former prime minister Henry Puna were acquitted of the charges in March, 2021)

So, what’s wrong with Mark Brown’s statement. Firstly, Mark Brown intentionally mixes the Covid pandemic with the fight against corruption. They are completely two separate issues.

Secondly, Mark Brown, says CAC or Citizens Against Corruption have been spending their time trying to overthrow the government. This is completely false and it is a lie. Government can only be overthrown by Parliament, by either a vote of no-confidence or by a shift of allegiance by Members of Parliament.

For the record, I lodged a Police complaint and later a private prosecution that involved a charter flight paid by public funds, approved by a two-person Caretaker Cabinet, who had lost at the polls, to pick up the Independent Penrhyn MP to make up the Parliamentary numbers to form Government.

As a former Director of Audit, we analysed this activity as a gross abuse of public funds. The two-person Caretaker Cabinet should have paid the charter flight using Cook Islands Party funds and not public funds. Of course, its history now, we know the charter flight was in the very last day before departure, turned into a medical evacuation flight or Medivac for someone else. I will end here.

Our intention and those of CAC was to disclose, fight and stop corruption. The end result, the Court found that the Medivac was a legitimate flight, even with the Independent Penrhyn MP on board. Therefore, the facts speak for themselves, CAC was never trying to overthrow Government, we were in search of the truth and that is, public funds were used to pay for the Independent MP for Penrhyn to travel to Rarotonga, before Parliament was even called for. The Independent Penrhyn MP was later sworn-in as DPM. Note, the Court case revealed various anomalies in MPs travel regulations.

See you in Court, Mark.

Paul Raui Pokoati Allsworth

China's 'silence' on the invasion of Ukraine

I trust that the Minister of Foreign Affairs has raised the issue of China’s silence on the invasion of Ukraine by its best mate Putin in Russia.

The Cook Islands believes in the rule of law and supposedly does China on external matters (Internal matters excepted).

I really don’t think it’s appropriate that Putin’s mate should be visiting at this time, but now he is here he should be diplomatically given the message.

(Name and address supplied)