12 Dec 2011

Pitcairn Island hearing gets underway in Auckland

2:35 pm on 12 December 2011

A hearing is underway in Auckland to determine whether the mayor of the Pitcairn Islands, who's accused of possessing indecent images of children, can be dealt with in a New Zealand Court.

Michael Warren has pleaded not guilty to the 25 charges, after pictures were allegedly found on his computer during search warrants at his house and council office last year.

Reporter Olivia Wix is at the Papakura District Court

"The courtroom looks a little different to a typical New Zealand court, as lawyers and the judge wear white neck bands, and the flags of the Pitcairn Islands and England are on display- indicating that the matters today are being dealt with under Pitcairn legislation. Technical difficulties have marred proceedings throughout the morning, as video links to Mr Warren, who is in court in the Pitcairn Islands, constantly disconnect. The lawyer for Mr Warren wants the charges, any proceedings, and any potential sentencing to be dealt with under local law and legislation. The Crown says a treaty between the three countries allows for the proceedings to be conducted in New Zealand, and it would be much faster if it was to occur here. This hearing is set down for two days, but the judge has indicated she will reserve her decision."