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Letter: Prime Minister’s ‘review’ questioned

Monday 12 February 2024 | Written by Supplied | Published in Letters to the Editor, Opinion

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Letter: Prime Minister’s ‘review’ questioned

Dear Editor, The country was fortunate that One News Reporter, Barbara Dreaver asked PM Mark Brown, what was happening with the complaints by two women against Police Commissioner James Keenan?

Mark Brown answered that the matter had been reviewed and that was the end of the matter. When asked if the PM still had the confidence in Commissioner James Keenan, he replied, ‘yes, I have the confidence’.

Here is the problem. Who did PM Mark Brown engage to undertake a review into the complaints? What was the outcome of the review? The Office of the Prime Minister cannot carry out a review as PM Mark Brown has a conflict of interest. He is the Minister of Police that employed Commissioner James Keenan. Where is the independence in the review process?

The PM should understand that these two complaints are very serious and should not be swept under the carpet. The public has a right to know, who carried out the investigation and what was the outcome?

As Police Minister and PM, Mark Brown needs to come clean on these serious allegations by the two women. The position of Police Commissioner demands a person with high integrity and credibility. How can the public have confidence in the Police Commissioner when these matters are not properly cleared and addressed? This also affects the PM’s handling of this matter as more questions are left unanswered.

Justice for All

(Name and address supplied)

Editor’s note: In an interview in October last year, PM Mark Brown told Cook Islands News: “There is a due process that takes place in that complaint, and we will let that due process continue.” The Prime Minister then said it would be inappropriate for him to comment any further on the complaint, until proper due process is done. Last week, 1News reported that the police commissioner was not available for comment, but his spokesperson said the matter had been in the hands of Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown and had been dealt with. “I have full confidence in the police commissioner, and he's doing a great job so far,” Brown told 1News. However, multiple sources assure 1News that is not the case and there is great unease internationally in how the case has been handled.