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Prison to be built on Pitcairn after rapists lose final appeal

LONDON: Britain will send jailers to Pitcairn Island after six men - a 10th of the island's population - lost their final appeal against convictions for child rape and indecent assault.

The British colony - the world's least-populated legal jurisdiction - is home to descendants of crew from the Bounty, who settled there with Tahitian wives in 1790 after a legendary high-seas mutiny.

A British Foreign Office spokesman said seven New Zealand prison officers would be dispatched to establish a new prison, Her Majesty's Prison Pitcairn, on the remote South Pacific island. Britain will pay the bill, expected to total about £500,000 ($1.2 million) a year.

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office said on Monday the six men had lost their appeal to the Privy Council, which rejected their argument that English law had not been promulgated on the island and it was not under British sovereignty.

The men were first found guilty in 2004, and their conviction was upheld by a court sitting in Auckland this year. Four were found guilty of rape and sentenced to between two and six years' jail. The other two were convicted of indecent assault and sentenced to community service.

Reuters