Court reprieve for death row convicts

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The Independent Online
Nine prisoners on death row in Belize yesterday won a temporary reprieve from Law Lords on the Privy Council in London.

The council - the final court of appeal for 16 Commonwealth countries - dismissed a claim by the Belize government that British judges had no power to intervene. They will now go on to decide the merits of the men's appeals against convictions for murder and their death penalties.

Over the years the Privy Council has reprieved hundreds on deaths rows in the Commonwealth. The United Democratic Party, which governs Belize, wants to divorce itself from the Privy Council, but lacks the two-thirds majority needed for law reform.