1 Dec 2014

Public want longer prison sentences in Kiribati

8:17 am on 1 December 2014

The head of a commission set up to consult the public on introducing the death penalty in Kiribati says while most are against it, they want to see tougher sentences.

The President Anote Tong is supporting an amendment to the penal code to adopt the death penalty.

After the successful first reading of the Death Penalty Bill in September the President set up a Commission of Inquiry, chaired by Catholic Bishop Paul Mea.

A report will be tabled when the Kiribati parliament convenes today and Bishop Paul Mea says nearly everyone is against it.

But he says people are worried there are no maximum security facilities and that convicted murderers have it too easy.

"But now they are put together with other prisoners and they have a good time in prison. They have three meals a day, they can make business, make fishing nets and others and they get a lot of money from what they do in prison."

Bishop Paul Mea says people are unhappy with the practice of the president reducing prison terms during independence celebrations.