Public consultation gets underway on the Amendment to the Penal Code Bill advocating the Death Penalty

Bairiki, Tarawa, 23 October, 2014—Public consultation for the Amendment to the Penal Code Bill advocating the Death Penalty got underway last week ahead of the bill’s second stage reading at December’s Parliament sitting.

The public consultation will reach out to communities seeking their views on the appropriateness of enacting such a law that will empower the High Court to apply the death penalty in sentencing convicted murderers if the bill passes the second stage reading.

After the successful first reading of the bill in last Parliament, President Anote Tong has, earlier this month, erected a Commission of Inquiry consisting of civil society leaders to spearhead this public consultation.

“The President has appointed Bishop Paul Mea as Chairperson (and who is being deputized by Father Koru Tito while Bishop Paul Mea is on overseas duty) and Moderator Reirei Kourabi, Mrs. Meere Riwata and Mr. Aeroman Taratiera as commissioners.“ Office of the President Secretary Bwakura Metutera-Timeon said adding that the public consultation had gone underway last week with consultations at communities in the capital of South Tarawa including Betio.

Secretary Metutera-Timeon added that this week the Commission is now conducting public consultations in the islands of Tabiteuea Meang and Abemama respectively.

The Commission will next visit Butaritari and Kiritimati Island before compiling a report with recommendations that will be presented to government ahead of the second stage reading of the bill in December’s parliament sitting.