10 Jul 2006

Six Pitcairn Islanders begin their Privy Council hearing in London

10:28 am on 10 July 2006

Six men found guilty of sex crimes on Pitcairn Island begin a challenge of the legal validity of their convictions in London later today.

The men have taken their case to the Privy Council, arguing that the British judicial system does not apply to them because British law was never ratified on Pitcairn.

The men were convicted in 2004 of crimes including rape, indecent assault and incest over a 30-year period.

The charges were upheld in an appeal to the Pitcairn Supreme Court sitting in Auckland last year.

The Pitcairn public prosecutor, Simon Moore, is hoping the Privy Council will rule that the men are subject to British law.

He says the hearing is set down for two weeks and a decision is not expected until October.