BOUGAINVILLE WANTS OWN CRIMINAL LAWS

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (June 14, 2001 – The National)---The whole Bougainville peace process is in danger of collapsing if the National Government maintains criminal law and criminal code authority, Bougainville Peoples Congress president Joseph Kabui warned yesterday.

And today -- probably the last day in the peace talks, after a long and exhausting process over several years, before the signing of the comprehensive agreement, scheduled for later this month in Arawa -- the National Government is adamant that it should maintain jurisdiction of criminal law.

These last talks were initially scheduled for one week but are currently in their third week because of outstanding issues like criminal law and double entrenchment.

It has already been agreed that all government functions will be transferred to Bougainville except defense, foreign affairs, international shipping, international civil aviation and the Supreme Court.

Bougainville Affairs Minister Moi Avei, who is still attending the talks in Port Moresby despite the National Executive Council meeting in Mt. Hagen today, wants the double entrenchment issue to be discussed last, later today.

For additional reports from The National, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The National (Papua New Guinea).

Provided by Vikki John ( VIKKI@law.uts.edu.au

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