COOK ISLANDS PRIME MINISTER WOONTON CLEARED OF BRIBERY ALLEGATIONS

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AVARUA, Rarotonga, Cook Islands (May 31, 2002 – Radio Australia)---Police in the Cook Islands have cleared the Prime Minister Dr. Robert Woonton of bribery allegations raised by the government’s Public Service Expenditure and Review Committee.

The committee complained that Dr. Woonton had approved the use of public money to fly the wife of an MP to New Zealand for medical treatment.

It was alleged the money was paid to get the MP to support the former coalition government.

After a seven-month investigation, police said there was no ground for charges -- an opinion supported by the Crown Law office.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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