14 Jan 2011

Rapa Nui occupation case deferred until next month

11:47 am on 14 January 2011

The court in Easter Island in Chile has deferred the case against 17 Rapa Nui brought against them for seizing a luxury hotel complex.

It was to be heard today but was deferred until February the 8th because the judge said he was acquainted with some of the accused.

He had been made to hear the case after the defence succeeded a day earlier to have the original judge disqualified.

A new judge will now have to be found on the Chilean mainland.

The island has seen months of occupations by Rapa Nui campaigning for the return of ancestral land.

Most of the occupations have ended peacefully but there have also been clashes.

Several international organisations have expressed concern at the violence used to dislodge the Rapa Nui.