Third Day for the Pitcairn Supreme Court
Tuesday 19th April The Pitcairn Supreme Court has met for the third time this week and for the first part of the sitting continued to hear submissions by the Prosecution that English law was indeed properly promulgated here on the Island.
In its submissions the Prosecution referred to many documents dating back as far as the late 1930's up to as late as 1985 in what it claims are "clear" proof that there was proper law enforcement and policing on the Island.
The say the Defense had provided a "powerful image" that rape, and underage sex was an acceptable and tolerated behavior on the Island.
They produced documents showing what they consider are clear examples of the Islanders seeking outside advice in relation to legal matters, and that the Government Adviser had been one means of offering advise or seeking advise from the Governors office on behalf of the Islanders.
They said that Pitcairn had "hardly been abandoned" over the years by British authorities and there has been a number of examples where people have had the opportunity to ask about the law.
They said that local ordinances and laws were made available to the Islanders and produced documents to support their claim.
However at the conclusion of the first phase of the Prosecutions submissions Judge Blackie noted that no evidence was presented that suggested English law was ever read or published publicly at anytime.
Later, Betty Christian who with her husband Tom had left the Island a fortnight ago appeared as a witness for the Prosecution. In a signed affidavit she stated that it was "common sense" that British law applied in situations when cases are of a serious nature. She said that she had never heard that Pitcairn was not British until the question was raised a few years ago. She said that the people of Pitcairn are "proud" to be British and referred to when the British flag was flown every day while she was at school. She reiterated at the end of her affidavit that it is "common sense" that English law applies.
After being questioned by Prosecution about Independence for Pitcairn Betty said that it is "ridiculous" because Pitcairn does not have the resources. It is out of the question she says.
Meanwhile the Court here on Pitcairn was well attended with up to 20 or more people watching the satellite video link with the Pitcairn Supreme Court in Auckland, New Zealand.
Tomorrow, it is expected that Defense will begin cross-examination of Betty Christian.
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