Escapee Wel to stand trial

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A PRISON escapee, John Siko Wel, who led 11 other prisoners, including bank robber William Nanua Kapris, out of the Bomana maximum prison unit outside Port Moresby in a breakout last year, was yesterday committed to stand trial by the Waigani National Court.
Wel was charged with two counts of escape from lawful custody and stealing.
Court records said on Jan 12 last year a woman, later identified as Helen Mark, who posed as a lawyer for Wel was allowed to enter the Bomana maximum prison where Wel and the others were being kept on remand.
While pretending to give legal advice to Wel, Mark gave him a loaded .38 pistol.
Wel then held up the two warders at gunpoint and ordered them to open the other cell gates and release the prisoners.
Wel then stole a state-issued AR-15 firearm from the warders and locked them in a cell before escaping with the other prisoners in a waiting vehicle.
Wel was recaptured at a residential area near Gerehu stage 4. He was shot and wounded on the leg by police while trying to flee.
Wel’s lawyer made a submission for the correctional services officers to take Wel to the hospital for a medical review of the gunshot wound.
The review should have been done on May 2.
Committal court magistrate, Rosi Johnson accepted the submission and directed CS officers to take Wel to hospital.
Johnson ordered Wel to appear in the National Court on May 30.