TRIAL TO BE HELD ON PITCAIRN, DESPITE PROBLEMS

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, June 30) - Those involved in the trial of seven Pitcairn Islands men charged with rape and sexual assault say there could be logistical problems with holding the trial on the tiny island, rather than in New Zealand.

Chief Justice Charles Blackie decided yesterday the trial would take place on Pitcairn, population about 50, beginning in late September.

Lawyers for the defense and the prosecution say they want the trial to be on the island, as it will be quicker and probably less costly.

Witnesses from overseas will give evidence by video link, but the only power on the island is from a generator, which can’t run full time.

Getting the defendants and the lawyers to the island to the island will take some organizing too, as the ship unloads people onto longboats, which in turn paddle them in, a few at a time.

Accommodation will be a hurdle, but defense lawyers will stay in the new remand center, and others dotted around in other venues.

July 1, 2004

Radio New Zealand International: http://www.rnzi.com/

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