HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 594: 14 December2011

Claim of ‘victimisation’ against Police Commissioner
In a court hearing last week, Police Sergeant Rangiua Tereneti Henry was acquitted of charges relating to forgery. The charges were regarding the alleged forgery of signatures on an application to import firearms into the Cook Islands, with intent to submit the documents as genuine. However, according to defence counsel Norman George, Henry claims that the document was a draft and was never intended to be a genuine application, also that the draft was created to assist another family member with filling out the forms correctly. George stated that the draft application was in fact taken from Henry’s pigeonhole and submitted to the Police Regulatory Office by someone other than himself.
The defence pleaded a case of victimisation against Police Commissioner Maara Tetava. George claimed that the charges were in fact brought against Henry as a result of a history of personal differences between Tetava and Henry. “This is not appropriate conduct. Just because you have a personality clash with this guy – he [Tetava] actually called him [Henry] “lazy” as well! The other police officers didn’t say he was lazy - his integrity was never in question. There was nothing to gain for him [and] no loss is suffered by anyone. The penalty for forgery is 10 years imprisonment! They were quite prepared to send this guy to prison for a harmless document.” George also referenced the well-documented Zac Guildford saga, challenging both Commissioner Tetava and Police Inspector John Strickland that they allowed the All Black to “get away with everything, Scott-free” but insisted on charging one in their own rank over a “harmless application form”. He commented, “I used the Zac Guildford example to show how unfair the police are.”
The jury responded to the defence’s case and both charges of forgery were rejected, with Henry found innocent. When the charges were originally brought against him, Sgt. Henry was suspended for two years without pay, and George added that Commissioner Tetava “promised” Henry he would receive two years back pay should he be acquitted of the charges. -Ngariki Ngatae

Herald Issue 554 09 March
- Norm exposes Trio of Doom
- Briefs from PM’s media conference Tuesday
- Tourism Industry ponders $5 million draft strategy
- Norman George resigns from Cook Islands Party
- Letter of Resignation from CIP
- Norman selfish says Prime Minister

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