COOK ISLANDS "VICTIMS TASK FORCE" PROPOSED

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By Alex Sword

RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (February 9, 1999 - Cook Islands News)---The establishment of a "Victims Task Force" is among the provisions of the Victims of Offenses Bill which is being debated in Parliament.

Justice Minister Tiki Matapo introduced the bill February 8.

It defines a "victim" as meaning a person who, through or by means of a criminal offense (whether or not any person is convicted of that offense), suffers physical or emotional harm, or loss of or damage to property; and, where an offense results in death, the term includes the members of the immediate family of the deceased.

The task force is to be chaired by the Secretary of Justice (or the secretary's nominee), the Police Commissioner (or commissioner's nominee), and no more than four other persons who shall be appointed from time to time by the Justice Minister.

The task force's life is for the period up to June 30, 2001.

PRIORITY

The task force's function is to:

While supporting the bill, New Alliance Party leader Norman George told Parliament that it lacked mention that the Crown will compensate the victim.

SUMMARY

In summary the bill:

For additional reports from the Cook Islands News Online, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Cook Islands New Online.

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