Bomana prison commander sidelined

Main Stories, National

The National, Tuesday July 9th, 2013


BOMANA Jail commander Joe Jako has been stood down following reports that he had allowed convicted murderer Theo Yasause to leave the prison without proper approval.

Correctional Service Commissioner Martin Balthazar yesterday announced the appointment of Kerevat Jail commander, Chief Supt Kiddy Keko, as acting commander of the country’s largest prison.

Balthazar said Buimo Jail commander Chief Supt Simon Subaim had been appointed acting commander of the Kerevat Jail.

He added that Chief Supt Jako would be unattached until further notice. 

“The changes as per instruction from the commissioner’s office as effective yesterday and is in line after the reports that convicted murderer, former head of PNG’s Climate Change office, who is serving a 30-year jail sentence at Bomana was let out of the facility sometime this year,” he said.

Balthazar said the leave of absence form allowing prisoners out of prison facilities must be approved by the commissioner and only for genuine reasons such as medical attention.

“I have not sighted the form in which leave of absence was granted to Yasause for his release from the institution and neither did approve his release with that form; therefore, it is sensible to allow changes of command so that the institution is in good command and control,” he said.

“The sidelining of the jail commander is an administrative change within the Correctional Service and is a clear directive from my office.”

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said he was disturbed by the prison release reports, saying “…. law and order issues remain one of the greatest impediments to doing business in PNG and such reports didn’t help the cause.” 

He added that “this is the kind of behaviour that is bringing the country down”.