Four killers miss out on law change

PUBLISHED : Friday, 16 January, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 16 January, 1998, 12:00am

Four prisoners serving life sentences for murders committed in their teens have not benefited from a law requiring that a minimum jail term be set.

Officials yesterday admitted the 'technical omission' and said an amendment bill to rectify the fault had been passed by the Executive Council. It will be introduced to the provisional legislature on Wednesday.

The bill will amend the Criminal Procedure Ordinance to set minimum jail terms for life prisoners who committed murder during their teens since 1993. Four such prisoners were given mandatory life terms.

The ordinance enacted last June only covers prisoners serving discretionary life sentences and prisoners detained at executive discretion, formerly known as Her Majesty's Pleasure.

'Due to a technical omission, it does not apply to mandatory life imprisonment cases,' a spokesman said, adding that it was always intended to treat teen murderers the same as those held at executive discretion.