8 Nov 2002

Pitcairn Islanders want sex abuse case tried on the island

12:09 pm on 8 November 2002

Pitcairn Islanders are asking the New Zealand Parliament to reject a British plan to hold sex abuse trials under Pitcairn law in Auckland.

A select committee has heard public submissions on the Pitcairn Trials Bill, that is expected to affect about a dozen Pitcairn men and about 20 Pitcairn women, some of whom live in New Zealand.

Auckland barrister Paul Dacre, the Pitcairn Public Defender, says the vast majority of Islanders are opposed to trials in Auckland.

And the Pitcairn Mayor Steve Christian, speaking by satellite telephone link, told MPs that Pitcairners human rights were being violated.

"We don't feel that just because we are geographically sort of cut off and a bit out of the way. We feel trials should be held here, because it involves virtually the whole community. Nothing in Pitcairn is a secret."

Steve Christian says the trials will put the viability of the community in question.