Former Cook Islands PM dies
One of the South Pacific's colourful politicians, one-time Cook Islands Premier Sir Geoffrey Henry, died last night.
He was 72 and was suffering from cancer, family in Rarotonga say.
Born on Aitutaki, he was a cousin of the Cook's founding leader, Albert Henry.
Sir Geoffrey became leader of the Cook Islands Party in 1979 after Albert Henry was forced to resign – and was stripped of his knighthood – over a scandal around flying-in voters from New Zealand for the general election.
Sir Geoffrey was initially prime minister for six months in 1983 and then from 1983 to 1989.
He held other positions later, including finance minister.
Given a knighthood in 1992, he most recently served as Speaker of Parliament.
He was involved in an odd incident in 2010 when he was removed from an Air New Zealand flight at Auckland after making a comment, during a search, about ''somebody back there thinks I am a terrorist."
A lawyer by training, he had a law degree from Victoria University in Wellington.
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