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The Legal Debate Continues for the Fourth Day 

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Wednesday 20th April The Pitcairn Supreme Court meeting for the fourth time this week continued to hear evidence from  both Prosecution and Defense on whether or not English law was properly promulgated on the Island.

Taking the witness stand again today was Betty Christian, the Island's Secretary and a witness for the Prosecution.

Under cross-examination by Defense  she was asked that when English law books arrived on the Island in 1998 where were they kept. She responded that they were "locked up" in the Island Secretaries office. 

She was asked that when Ministry of Defense police officers arrived on the Island and removed the books to the newly constructed Remand Center if she know where they were kept. She responded that she didn't know where. When asked if it was strange that the English law books were locked up she responded with "I suppose so".

When asked that when Islanders go traveling overseas if they visit law libraries she responded by saying "No...", why should they.

She also told the Court that she was hoping for Truth and Reconciliation as an alternative to trials but as she believes no remorse was shown  by the accused there was no alternative but to take the present course of action.  

When asked if she had prepared her affidavit she replied that it had been prepared for her and she had had some input.

Also taking the stand for the Prosecution was Betty's husband Tom Christian, who in his affidavit stated that it is "common sense" that English law applies. But when asked if he knew about the English law books which had arrived on the Island in 1998 he said "Don't know anything about them".

Also taking the witness stand was the Legal Advisor for Pitcairn Mr. Paul Treadwell. Mr. Treadwell's role was described by Defense  as that being equivalent of an "Attorney General" for Pitcairn, a role by which My Treadwell agrees. 

When asked, Mr. Treadwell told the Court that he was appointed legal adviser in 1979. 

What followed was a series of intense questioning by Defense in which Mr. Treadwell made several admissions including that he knew there were inadequacies relating to judicial and criminal law and that he had never checked to see if the Island Magistrate and the Island Police were adequately trained for the job. He also admitted that he was not familiar in English law. 

He was asked if he was aware that the British Sexual Act was changed in 2003 and he said he was not. It was then pointed out that if he wasn't aware of the changes then how could the Islanders be aware of this change.

He was asked if he kept himself up to date with English law and he said he didn't.

A letter was later produced by Defense in which it shows that a former deputy Governor had disagreed with him on the age of consent. Defense then pointed out  that if those in authority can't agree on this issue then how could they expect the Islanders to know what the age of consent is..

After much questioning by Defense the court adjourned for the day. Questioning of Mr. Treadwell continues tomorrow in Court.

 

The Pitcairn Supreme Court Room on Pitcairn in 2004

 

 

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