1 Jul 2004

Pitcairn Islands readying for rape trial

7:13 am on 1 July 2004

Those involved in the trial of seven Pitcairn Islands men on charges of rape and sexual assault say there could be logistical problems with holding the trial on the island, rather than in New Zealand.

Chief Justice Charles Blackie decided yesterday the trial would take place there, beginning in late September.

Cathy Strong reports.

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

Witnesses from overseas will give evidence by videolink, but the only power on the island is from a generator, which can't run fulltime.

Getting the defendants and the lawyers to the island to the island will take some organising 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 defence lawyers will stay in the new remand centre, and others dotted around in other venues .