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News Release

Pitcairn men appeal Supreme Court decision

ANGWIN, CALIF., May 12, 2004 ------ Seven Pitcairn Island men, earlier charged with sexual criminality, today directed their public defender to appeal a Pitcairn Supreme Court decision that Great Britain has sovereignty over Pitcairn Island and thus the power to bring them to trial.

In a press release, Pitcairn Public Defender Paul Dacre said, “The Public Defender for the Pitcairn Islands has received instructions from the seven accused on Pitcairn Island to file appeals against the determinations of the Supreme Court made in their decision delivered on 19 April 2004.”

The appeals the public defender will be bringing are against eight determinations of the Supreme Court which were handed down on April 19, all relating to an assertion that Great Britain has the authority to try those who have been accused of criminal acts on Pitcairn Island covering a sweep of some 40 years.

The accusations grew out of contacts by a British policewoman with Pitcairn Islanders in the late 1990s.

After more than four years of delays through various moves by the British government and those accused, “The Pitcairn Trials” as they have come to be known, seem little closer to going to actual trial than at any time in the past.

Public Defender Dacre is being assisted in the appeals process by Deputy Public Defender Allan Roberts and the Hon. Adrian Cook QC. The three will leave Auckland, New Zealand, on Sunday, May 23, 2004, for Pitcairn Island “to obtain full instructions on all aspects of the case and make decisions as to the future conduct of the case” in counsel with the accused Pitcairn men.

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Pitcairn Islands Study Center, 1 Angwin Ave., Angwin, CA, USA. Herbert Ford, 707-965-6625, 707-965-2047, Fax: 707-965-6504, Email: hford@puc.edu, Website: http://library.puc.edu/pitcairn

  


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