For those interested in or concerned about a problematic situation, we submit the following appeals for your consideration. Note the hyperlinks below. The letters below were sent by the Bunkins, friends involved in the situation, whose judgment we respect. -- EGR & GKC
----- Letter of Appeal from Pitcairn women both on and off the Island (these women range in age from early 20's to 80's.)
The Justice for Pitcairn Group
PO Box 576
2899 Norfolk Island
South Pacific Ocean
We are a group of concerned Pitcairn women on and off the island who are deeply distressed by the struggle the last six years to prove that the Pitcairn men are not child rapists. We have been advised by legal experts to take our case to the court of last resort, the Privy Council in London in July 2006.
Now we have come to the point where we need to ask for help, though it goes against the grain of our independence and self sufficiency. We are used to working for everything we have, we are hard workers, and it has caused us a great deal of heartache to decide to ask for help
The Pitcairn men charged with serious crimes have until now not had their fundamental right of counsel of their own choice to represent them. A Public Defender and a Deputy Public Defender from New Zealand were appointed by the Governor of Pitcairn Islands, responsible for the introduction of English criminal laws to Pitcairn. These counsel were then assigned under Legal Aid laws to represent the Pitcairn men.
Another counsel chosen by the Public Defender was also assigned to represent them shortly before the 2004 trial. In 2002 this counsel was still an associate member of the law firm chosen to prosecute the alleged crimes. Again the Pitcairn men had no say in this choice, they had three lawyers to defend the seven of them, and there was great concern about the situation. For reasons which they believed to be good and valid, the majority of the Pitcairn men have lost trust and confidence in the representation assigned to them. They have chosen to obtain the services of very senior and experienced lawyers, because they are concerned at the very real prospect that if they don't succeed in the Privy Council appeal, the future of Pitcairn Island is in extreme peril.
We have to appeal for help in raising the funds needed to fight for our own and Pitcairn's survival. When it is understood that there are less than forty Pitcairners living on the island, and that the monthly wages range from NZ$50 to NZ$350, it is clear that a proper fight in the Privy Council is only possible if friends of Pitcairn Island contribute generously to save a special and unique community.
One of our highly qualified independent lawyers is working for free, the other one at reduced rate, but there are still associated costs which will all but bankrupt us. The Privy Council in London in July will cost over NZ$100.000, - an astronomical sum for us, but the only way to try to get justice for the island. Essential justice and fairness have not been given to our men in the proceedings so far:
1. No jury trial, the defendants were not judged by their own peers, but by NZ judges.
2. The defendants were accused and convicted according to a British law that had never been promulgated on the island. The relevant Pitcairn ordinance, the only one the islanders knew, was not applied.
3 The allegations from several Pitcairn women about police promising compensation during interviews were not investigated by the courts.
4. There was no legal counsel available to Pitcairners until Legal Aid appointment in May 2002, two years after the investigations started and the Pitcairn prosecutor was appointed, thus giving lots of time for media speculation and bias to grow.
5. The Pitcairn justice and court system was created after allegations were made and some were made even after the decision to prosecute and lay charges.
If you want to see justice be done to all the Pitcairn men and women, please make a contribution to our cause.
Thank you for helping us in this hour of great need and despair. We believe justice and fairness CAN prevail. However, it cannot do so unless we continue to secure the services of our two independent counsels, who are dedicated to providing justice for all, making it possible to be represented at the highest possible level in Privy Council.
Anette Boye Young
MORE DETAILS ABOUT THIS NON-PROFIT GROUP
MORE DETAILS ABOUT HISTORY OF THIS CASE
http://www.pitcairnjustice.com/index2.php (click TIMELINE)
We are sending this Pitcairn Island fundraising appeal to everyone we know. We sincerely hope that you will be able to help by sending a donation via PAYPAL (http://www.pitcairner.= com/donate/donate.htm) or by check to the address at the end of this message.
Our Pitcairn friends are not child rapists. They are appealing the charges against them to the highest court in London. Because they have barely a subsistence income, most are now near bankruptcy as they struggle against the powerful British legal bureaucracy. If this appeal fails, accused islanders will never be able to see their families in New Zealand, Australia and Norfolk Island again.
Islanders making a new life elsewhere will lose their jobs and may be deported to Pitcairn. Highly regarded defense attorneys are going to London from New Zealand and a prominent London attorney is also participating. They feel so strongly about this case that they are slashing their costs to the bone. However, this will still be a very expensive endeavor.
During our visit to New Zealand in January and February, we were able to have lengthly private meetings with senior university law professors, highly regarded attorneys and leading politicians. We have also read several detailed papers written in prestigious law journals which are critical of the entire procedure which has dragged on for years and is emotionally devastating.
A typical remark from one expert was that this is the most bizarre miscarriage of justice he has ever experienced as an expert in the field. To cite just a few examples:
Please help these men as they (and their wives/partners) struggle to deal with this emotionally agonizing situation. Thanks in advance for your kindness and generosity.
PS: Please do not send any money to us. Please donate online at
or send a personal check or cashiers check by mail ( $ .80) to: "Justice for Pitcairn #153623."
Send either to the Westpac Bank address or directly to the non-profit Justice for Pitcairn Group.
Swift Code: WPACAU2S